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Obama Job Approval Numbers Rise Along with Economic Optimism

In the past several weeks Gallup polling has found a small but real increase in the American people’s economic outlook and a modest increase in people who approve of Obama’s job performance.

Back in August the percentage of Americans who thought economic conditions in this country were getting better was stuck in the teens, but over the past few weeks that number has been in the low twenties. Similarly, while Obama’s job approval numbers in Gallup’s tracking poll over the past few weeks haven’t been great, they are noticeably better than they were in August when his job approval number often slipped below 40 percent.

Some might attribute Obama’s recent improvement in his job approval numbers to him taking a more aggressive stance towards Republicans or to a shift in his rhetoric. I suspect what is really happening is that the improvement is due almost exclusively to regular Americans’ improving economic outlook and has almost nothing to do with the messaging from the White House.

I’ve previously shown how closely the President job approval number correlates with the American peoples’ economic outlook and the graph with the newest data shows the trend continues to hold.

Seeing how closely Obama’s job approval tracks with Americans’ economic outlook, I think the most consequential thing happening in American politics right now is actually the Euro crisis. I don’t know how it will end but it seems there is a significant probability it will pull the continent into another recession in the next 12 months. Serious economic problems in Europe could send ripples through the weak American economy. That could easily crush what little economic optimism there is in this country and both Obama’sjob approval numbers and re-election prospects along with it.

*all data from Gallup’s tracking polls

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at