Obama's Final Honeymoon Ends Well
America now has a new president, meaning (among other things) it is time to take one final look back at the presidency of Barack Obama. The chart is now complete on the public's opinion of how President Obama performed his duties, and his final "honeymoon" period not only continued during [...]
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Obama's Final Honeymoon Ends Well
Obama's third, or "lame-duck" honeymoon continued strong in December, putting Obama at the highest point in public opinion polls that he's seen during his entire second term in office. In other words, he's stronger now than he was when sworn in for the second time, four years ago. Obama set four second-term records this month, hitting a job approval high in both daily and monthly average poll ratings, while also charting new daily and monthly lows in job disapproval. Obama had a great December, which was the capstone on the best year he's ever had during his entire presidency. Let's take a look at the penultimate chart of Obama's presidency:
President Obama is on track to end his second term in office with higher job approval than he began it, back in January of 2013. Call it the third (or lame-duck) honeymoon, if you will. Obama saw record job approval in November, measured both monthly and daily, and tied his daily low for job disapproval (previously set February 24, 2013). After a very strong October, Obama charted an even stronger November in public opinion polls. Let's take a look at the new chart for this month to see all of this.
President Obama is having the best year of his entire presidency, in terms of job approval improvement. In the ten months of 2016 so far, Obama's monthly job approval average has risen eight times, and only decreased twice. His job approval number has improved so much that he's now at the second-highest point of his entire second term. The only month he was at a better point was January of 2013, when he was sworn in a second time. On top of this, his daily job approval average hit the highest point of his entire second term last month. All in all, it's looking like Obama will finish his time in office in a pretty comfortable place. After falling back a bit in September, Obama roared back in October. Let's take a look at his new chart for this month.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had a mixed week in the polls. Some states strengthened for both candidates, and some states weakened. For the most part, though, the race remained essentially unchanged.
Even with that big caveat, Hillary Clinton had another good week in the polls. In fact, almost all the news was good news for Clinton and bad news for Donald Trump. Clinton continued to ride the wave from the first debate, and this week shows the public's reaction to Trump's tax returns being leaked, showing an almost-billion-dollar loss in a single year (so much for the "I'm a great businessman" thing...). Trump is defiant about not paying any federal income taxes for almost two decades, which certainly didn't help him any with public opinion.
After August's spectacular improvement in job approval polling, Barack Obama saw his numbers fall in September -- what the stock market might call a "correction." Obama had the best August he's ever had in terms of improving his poll numbers, but it seems now that the whole month was the high end of a slow, two-month cycle which might indicate he's hitting a plateau. That's all a very polite way of saying Obama's numbers went down in September, although not as much as they had risen in August. Let's take a look at his new chart.
President Barack Obama's job approval polling numbers went sharply up in August, after falling slightly in July for the first time this year. Obama has now seen gains in seven of the eight months of 2016, and August was the third-biggest of these jumps. Obama's job approval is now higher than every other month in his second term except the first one (January, 2013), putting his legacy in pretty good position with the public. The bounce upward can clearly be seen even in the large-scale chart.
Last month, President Obama's longest winning streak in job approval polling ended. For the first six months of 2016, Obama improved his monthly average job approval number each and every month. That's a longer streak than he's ever managed, to put it into perspective. His job approval rose a whopping 6.5 points during this period, while his average monthly job disapproval number fell 5.4 points. In July, however, both numbers experienced a mild correction, ending this notable streak.
President Obama's job approval among the public hit a big milestone last month, as he wound up with a monthly average of exactly 50 percent. Half the public approves of the job he's doing, to put this another way. This was a rather dramatic improvement over Obama's rather flat May numbers. Let's take a look at the new chart, where his improvement is pretty easy to see.