FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
President Obama appears to be enjoying a bit of a perfect storm consisting of small pieces of good news.
It's reflected in his poll numbers, with a 50% approval rating for the first time in more than eight months.
The new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll also shows Independents - who could decide the election - now have a net-positive view of Mr. Obama.
The president's job approval is up despite 6 in 10 saying things are going poorly in the U.S.
The same poll shows President Obama leading all of the Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical match-ups.
And it finds the GOP's advantage on voter enthusiasm has been erased.
Part of the political equation that appears to be working in Mr. Obama's favor is the toll that the stubbornness of Republicans in the House of Representatives has taken on the public's patience. By saying no to virtually everything, nothing got done.
It's taken a while for them to figure it out, but this week Republicans suddenly agreed to extending the payroll tax cut without asking for corresponding spending cuts.
Of course it's fiscally irresponsible. Just more deficit spending. But when it's election time politicians have even fewer principles than they do the rest of the year.
And maybe somebody told the Republicans that if they don't at least look like they want to be part of the solution - a lot of them are likely to be looking for work come November.
Also working in the president's favor: Glimmers of economic hope.
Jobless claims fell to 348,000 last week - the lowest since 2008..
And the 8.3% national unemployment rate is the lowest in three years.
Here’s my question to you: Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Al in Lawrence, Kansas:
Four reasons: Mitt, Rick, Newt, Ron.
Tom in Rochester, New York:
Obama's poll numbers are rising because any good news is better than bad news any day. As long as things are going positive, Obama cannot lose and the Republicans know it. But, they've painted themselves into a "just say no" corner. So, anything they do from now on has to be positive or they alienate voters.
Bert in Los Angeles:
Hi Jack. It’s the swing voters reacting to the GOP field of mud-slinging cannibal candidates. But rather than saying “Anyone but Romney” as many Republicans are saying, they are saying “Anyone but a Republican.”
James in Alexandria, Virginia:
His numbers are going up because many, including myself, believe that he is really trying to do what's best for the country and Congress is the issue. Plus let's not forget that the GOP candidates are awful.
The economy is important, we all agree. What is disturbing is the exclusionary attitudes of the Republican candidates toward the basic freedoms of a society. If you don't believe in pro-choice, gay marriage or taking contraception pills, then don't take part in it. It amazes me how an entire party can say shrink government in people's lives then turn around and shove their personal beliefs down everyone's throats.
Simple, Jack. You have a guy who ties his dog to the roof of his car, a guy who thinks contraception is a sin, a guy who wants to end the military and a guy who wanted two wives - and he wasn't even the Mormon. Anyone who isn't in that group would have rising poll numbers.