Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?
February 16th, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?

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.

soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Southside Jim

    Because the pollsters are looking at the data sheet upside down.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  2. Ed from Harrisburg

    President Obama's numbers are rising because he is a serious man who has stayed the course and has helped us recover from perhaps the worst economic abuses in history (Reaganomics) and genuinely cares for and fights for all Americans and not just special interests. He was handed a bad hand and has, in spite of bitter Republican opposition, played hardball and is winning. By comparison his opponents seem incompetent and clueless as well as cannabalistic amongst themselves. This is not what Americans want or need. Obama may not be the best president ever, but he is far better than any of the declared opponents who have resorted to the ugliest of politics between themselves and with him.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  3. jerry n.carolina

    He's making his same speech back in 2007 when running for president all these promises and no real proof. Everyone's going to pay there fair share? when? what does that mean? I am still unemployed with over 30k dollars of student loans, gas prices are up here in north kachalichi and i cant afford it.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  4. Olga O. Pina

    I believe that the high degree of deceit, arrogance and greed that we have seen in the selection of a Presidential candidate on the part of the Republicans have the US population look at President Obama with kinder eyes.

    The economy is scary, but the choice of Republican candidates for the Presidency is scarier...

    Austin, Texas

    February 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  5. Deb in MT

    I know it must totally gall you, Jack, that President Obama's poll numbers are improving. Right off the bat, I can think of several reasons for his numbers to improve: the economy is in an uptick, so –as pessimistic as some people might be–more of us are seeing improvement; the GOP is increasingly identified–rightly so, IMO–as being in thrall to the top 1% who don't give a flying fig about the rest of us; Congressional GOPers have badly overplayed their hand on many fronts; The GOP field looks completely unhinged and out of touch; and, the GOP war against women–exemplified by the anti-contraception noise and fury puts the President squarely on the side of women, men, common sense and fiscal sanity.

    In short: President Obama is the only one looking and acting like an adult. Watch for a landslide.

    Obama 2012!
    The only grown-up in the game.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  6. Jim Kipler

    Hello Jack!

    The reason I think, that President Obama's numbers in the polls continue to rise, is that the Republican Party has failed to field a viable and strong candidate that the electorate can connect to. Santorum, Romney, Paul, et al, have waged negative campaigns that sorely miss the mark with regard to important issues at hand. No stellar performer here, all Obama has to do is stop talking and he will probably win.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  7. John from Alabama

    Jack: People are starting to believe the economy is improving. President Obama approval rating is going up, because those running for the Republican nomination do not look good to the voters. President Obama always hunts for the positives rather than the negatives, which is a refreshing change. Michelle and Barrack Obama look great together with their children. The Republicans will point and blame everyrhing on President Obama or others before they find blame in themselves. President Obama just looks like a happier man than the rest.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Have you watched the debates and heard what the Republican candidates have to say these days to appeal to their base? Have you seen the war waged on women from the US House of Representatives, and from state houses across this country, lead by the GOP? Good grief, these people are scary. President Obama appears to be the only adult in the room, as it were.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  9. John Noack

    Jack, It's because he is the only one that is for the American people
    and not for the rich all the time .
    John from Pennsylvania.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  10. Sharon Brown

    Because Americans have a brain, and they can see past the hype to what is really going on. Obama has proven that
    he can do the job, and well, he has shown courage and grace in the face of all the ugliness the Republicans have thrown at him, the economy is improving and unemployment rate is getting better. He's got my vote.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  11. Phil, Georgia

    The only people pessimistic are republicans. With so much positive economic news and America getting stronger there is no wonder why Pres. Obama polls are rising. People are looking at the facts instead of the drag down America rhetoric by republicans. It makes a difference who our leaders are, Romney would have let the car companies tank like he did many companies at Bain, while Obama creatively threw out a one time lifeline. People of Michigan would not be smart to vote for someone who would have let their state crumble.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  12. Emma

    President Obama is loved and admired for his positive peaceful attitudes towards his problems. Its not easy choosing to live at peace. But when you persevere and do it anyway, you are blessed and everything you touch is blessed too. Is why President Obama is a blessing for our country.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  13. Conor in Chicago

    I think people are really starting to get a taste of what return to a Republican executive might look like. If you look at the Republican front runners they just simply don’t appeal much to normal/rational voters. First of all its only very politically conscious right-wing folks that think Obama is a communist who hates America-etc. Most people wish the economy was better but admire his keeping the ship of state sailing despite the holes that are in it. Second, Romney has revealed himself to be an opportunist of the first order. I may be speaking for myself momentarily here but I, for one, am very uncomfortable with a man as wealthy as Romney so gung ho to become President. The only rational that exists for him is power. That scares me. And Santorum? Most Americans like living in the 21st Century. His economic message might appeal to average folks on their own merit but complimenting that rhetoric with religious rhetoric straight out of Right Wing Nutjobia makes him completely unacceptable.

    Obama isn’t perfect, but he’s been steady. And let’s face it: His foreign policy has been excellent. If we actually have a fair and free election I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama won again.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  14. james in greenville nc

    Jack, what is the alternative? The Republican presidential candidates act like they are in Thunderdome. Except in the movie it was "two men enter, one man leaves." The Republican version of Thunderdome is "all the candidates enter and we will destroy ourselves so that no one leaves." I think Obama will be the Jimmy Carter who got reelected in spite of himself.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  15. Jenna Roseville CA

    Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?

    Simple Jack, because Americans see Obama out there speaking and working for them and NOT a party.

    Obama 2012

    Roseville CA

    February 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Steve

    Very simple because the Press and their self proclaimed experts attack the Republican candidates. After constant attack you start believing them. This is the ploy the students learned from their Liberal professors when they were in college. But you can't convince them of that.
    The Republican voters are stupid to believe those attacks, even on the this blog. The Republicans need to unite and start attacking the Press and Obama if they want to win. The Republican candidates need to attack the Democrat members of Congress just like the Democrats are doing it to them. Example Rep Watter calls the Republicans as Demons. The Republicans should attack her as dumb idiot with a low IQ that i she is not smarter enough to get out of the rain. What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander. I can see another four years of smoke and mirrors by the Democrats because voters will be duped again and Obama will win again with the same promises that he promised 4 years ago that he didn't deliver or unfairly delivered. I congratulate all the Democrats on your next 4 years, you have won and elected your leader again. No need for an election. Good job.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Peter in Ottawa Canada

    Obama has a united party and he's talking about their direction, while the GOP looks like 4 feuding tribes with little detectable consensus. Unison looks like comfort and confidence, therefore his stakes rise. But it's all as fragile as a glass house in an avalanche, the only predictable thing here is continued unpredictability. Let's see where things stand after the first European default, Israel's actions against Iran clarify, and SuperPAC spending starts to focus on Obama. The good news? It is all highly entertaining.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  18. Russ in PA

    Because people are clueless, and only pay attention to the nonsense that the mainstream media passes off as news? Why else would so many people put up with the past and current crop of politicians that trample the Constitution? Do they really condone the murdering of US citizens by our President without due process or even a charge against them? Do they really believe that bailing out failed companies and banks makes any sense at all? Do they really believe that the two-party system supporting the Federal Reserve is doing anything but destroying the middle class?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    February 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Frankly.......because Americans are idiots. they really think you can get free stuff, and never have to pay your own way in the world. Americans have become socialists, and no longer are willing to earn their own way in the world.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  20. Raymond P. Bilodeau, Worcester, MA

    Because most of us know it's the Tea Party and the frozen GOP that is responsible for the do-nothing Congress. What job creation program has the GOP offered, besides cutting taxes for the rich and superrich?

    February 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  21. JD in NH

    Things are looking up, but the Republicans are the party of doom and gloom because they're determined to beat President Obama in November. I imagine if Mr. Santorum is the Republican nominee, President Obama's ratings will go through the roof since most people don't care to return to the 19th century.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  22. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    How many thank yous, or good on yous do you get compared to complaints? People like complaining. That doesn't mean anyone is going to vote Republican. Republicans created the pickle we're in. Look at the popularity polls.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  23. Bill of New Mexico

    Obama so reminds me of Jimmy Carter. 2012 reminds me of 1980.

    When the Republicans selected Ronald Regan, everyone groaned thinking Carter had been given a reprive.
    People are not not always honest in responding to polls.

    However long it takes, the Republicans are selecting the President for 2013.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  24. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-Greensburg,IN

    Deceiving people and telling lies has no restrictions! Without getting personal it seems to be the norm instead of the exception with politicians, mass media, polls, caucuses, primaries, and anything else that-has-got-to-do with power &
    money. The "Forces of Evil have Prevailed"!

    I guess "WE" all knew it was coming – way before the recession – all the lieing and cheating the large corporations, finanicial companys, banks, government, even GM & GE...so it's all up and running again thanks to hard earned tax money ( squandered, bailouts, tarps, and gov in general ) lost by taxpayers that will never see any of it again!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  25. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,Because we were down so low,anything would feel better.And whether you are right or left,please remember Obama did NOT start this corrupt mess.Things are looking a bit better and I think it might come out ok ""IF"" we get a handle on the debt.If we do not do that we will all be in a mess..............except of course congress,they will still get their
    700 dollar dinners and belly up to the bar on their victims......................."the tax payer"..........come on boys its all free.
    And Jack Obama is not running against anyone so he is the easy winner.So things are looking good for a change.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  26. Pete in Georgia

    We choose our Presidents like we choose the next American Idol. It's all part of the "Dumbing of America". Background history, experience, religious ties, ideology means almost nothing. Most voters have zero accurate, authentic knowledge of American history, nor do they care to have any.
    Today it's all about the smile, the stance, the strut, and the never ending gold plated speeches that promise government baby sitting welfare from cradle to grave.
    The really sad part is.........................it's only going to get worse in a lazy, socialistic, dependent culture now well cultivated.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  27. Ron WPAFB

    Because the alternative is completely unacceptable! When the House GOP stop at not making previous Congress men and Senators obey the Insider Trading Laws before Congress now, How can you trust these people???

    WASHINGTON - Key provisions of the STOCK Act, the bill to bar insider trading by lawmakers, were removed in the latest version unveiled Wednesday in the House by Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

    The overall bill mandates that members of Congress, staffers and the administration be subject to insider trading laws just like anyone else who profits from inside information, and requires the monthly reporting of significant financial transactions.

    But provisions that were added by bipartisan votes to the Senate version last week are missing. Perhaps the most significant was a provision authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would require people who trade on so-called political intelligence - a rapidly growing practice in Washington - to register as political intelligence consultants, just like lobbyists.

    Political intelligence is insider information gleaned from officials writing laws or rules that can affect businesses, and that is then used to play the market. It's estimated to be at least a $100 million-a-year industry.

    Republican leadership sources argued that the Senate measure was overly broad and could ensnare too many people, as some observers also suggested. But proponents of exposing the growing trade in legislative secrets had argued minor tweaks were all that was needed, not the entire removal of such provisions for registering as political intelligence consultants, as is the case with the House bill. Meaning, when they loose their respective elections they will still be able to do insider trading!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  28. Ed from California

    Jack, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the Teaplican Party has been the ones that derailed this once great country into a beckoning third world country. Folks now realize that the Koch's, Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, the entire GOP field and the 1% don't have our country's future at heart, only for their own wealth and greed. This November will be an awakening of America. I'll be surprised if even John Boehner has a job. Mr. Boehner, Where are the jobs??

    February 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  29. Phyllis G. Williams

    Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?

    Because they know it is not his fault, he is doing all that is possible
    in the impossible job he accepted. to help his country.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  30. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    People are beginning to realize the George W Bush henchman are still in Congress and can't wait to get back to the Bush days. And really, no one prefers the dark ages.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  31. Jack

    It's Simple LIBERAL MAIN STREAM MEDIA. Most people are more worried about the escapades of Lindsay Lohan instead of whats really going on in this country, They Listen to a news anchor tell them how great Obama is and how wonderful a job he is doing and could care less if what they are being told is the whole truth or glazed over bits and pieces of news stories such as the unemployment numbers. In a 1 hour news cast a anchor might mention the fact that the unemployment number;s have gone down but fail to mention that hundreds of thousands of unemployed people just stop existing because they gave up but if it makes Obama look better why report the whole truth?????

    February 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  32. jen-seatte;wa

    some people are loyal to race no matter how bad the policy..

    February 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  33. Mel - Houston

    It just means people are beginning to understand that he is doing the best that he can given the conservative profile of the US Congress.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  34. Loren

    The Republicans aren't offering an alternative, taking turns suffering from foot in mouth disease. Why wouldn't the President look better?

    February 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  35. Richard Texas

    Jack with all the bickering between the republicans it is driving voters to Obama. he is the only alternative to the republican fiasco. All the infighting between the republican candidates has left a sour taste in voters mouths. Day in and day out they have been saturated and inundated with petty bickering between candidates that has no real bearing on their ability to lead as president. I mean who cares if one paid more taxes then the other as long as they paid what was required by law?

    February 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  36. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    The Republicans have failed to continue the myth that the president can be blamed for everything bad. Now people are turning to the real controllers... Congress. When you have a president standing and saying "raise my taxes so I can help the poor" and multi-millionaires saying "lower my taxes because firing people didn't get me enough money to buy that second yacht," people start to get it.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  37. Al, Lawrence KS

    Four reasons....Mitt, Rick, Newt, Ron.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  38. Bradley in Philadelphia

    Because people feel that the situation will improve due to Obama's actions.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  39. calaurore9

    The alternatives. Santy, Zzomney, Grinch.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  40. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    It's a matter of trust. I see President Obama trying to fix the economy despite all the roadblocks and 'just say no tactics the Republicans are throwing up to make him look bad. I, for one, am not falling for that. I wouldn't trust a Republican to get me a clean glass of drinking water.

    I don't think for a minute the Republicans have a plan for the economy. They have a plan for their rich friends and supporters, but nothing for the middle class except social agendas that come right out of the middle ages.

    Once Obama wins his second term the Republicans won't have a reason not to cooperate with him anymore so they might, just might, try helping the middle class instead of stomping on us to defeat Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  41. Brian

    The problem is the media look at how negatively you framed the question. With hiring getting better, manufacturing increasing, consumer confidence up and thing looking better all together, why would you say they there is high pessimism? Things are looking better. You can only walk around with your head down for so long, when they look up they see things are moving forward and they are being left behind, they attribute that to the direction the county is going and the president’s leadership. Its is like you want to start a fight or something.

    February 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  42. James - Alexandria, VA

    His numbers are going up because many believe, including myself, 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. They're the biggest bunch of losers I have ever seen. And that includes the ones that dropped out of the race.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  43. Karl in Flint, MI

    I think the Tea Party has run its obstructive course and people are realizing the Bush Recession didn’t come with power brakes standard and like Chrysler and GM’s vehicles; and neither can be stopped on a dime. The slower than necessary recovery is also being noticed and blame given where due. Romney’s and the GOP in general’s view of the bailouts and other programs that are working are now being seen as disruptive to the recovery. It’s going to take a lot more government investment, since the private sector is holding back, to fully recover. The fat lady is not even close to singing on this. Finally this contraceptive situation has shown Americans that the president can find middle ground but the GOP doesn’t want to on anything.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  44. Ken from California

    Because the President is trying to fix things, right or wrong, but trying. The public is realizing the republican congressional destruction derby, is all about unseating the president, by saying no to his proposals. The public is, or becoming aware, the legislative GOP is not working on the behalf of their constituents. That bodes ill for our country, but non dare say, we are in state of emergency.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  45. Nate NC

    Who do you think participated in these polls? The poll numbers are not "rising", they are only reflecting the REAL working class people who are beginning to show their concern in this election year. These same people realize that Obama is not a dictator and has been limited by Congress. REAL working class people know what it is like being one person fighting against an establishment to make improvements.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  46. Jodi Clausman, Houston

    The economy and state of the affairs of the country are important, we all agree. What is disturbing is the exclusionary attitudes and beliefs of the Republican candidates toward the basic freedoms and right's 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. The Republican's had the chance for my vote, but they've done nothing but turn me off.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  47. Jordy Williams

    Simple, look at who he is running against, 3 ? marks...He has not been perfect by any strecth of the imagination but 4 more years of him is a lot better than 4years of of instability and pure nothingness... Hopefully in the next 4 years we will have a better selection of candidates to choose from... That's all for now Jack...

    February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  48. Susan-NJ

    The reason may be the other candidates are self destructing like Santorum's crack about womens emotions. It seems most of these guys just want to run for office not win it.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  49. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I look at how Obama is slowly pulling us out of the hole that President Bush dug for us. Then I look out how things would be if Romney, Santorum and Gingrich were president. Our transformation from rich to poor would be complete and we will once again be hearing how the trickle-down theory works. This is why Obama is ahead in the polls.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  50. Doug Ericson

    Because the Republican Establishments strategy, of helping Obama to get re-elected, is working. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  51. Leta Baritua in Ontario

    It is so obvious – the Americans can see that the President is doing his best to fix America's ills despite the
    GOP's obstruction. Suddenly the House Republicans caved in to this payroll tax cut, intended to help
    the American workers and now aware of their low approval rating and election time is in the horizon.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  52. Butch Osborne

    I believe the President's numbers are rising because he is finally standing up toe the republicans in congress by taking his case directly to the American people. We see that he is trying to get something done to help this country while the republicans in congress are just being obstructionists. The republicans have nothing to offer, and the last time I checked something beats nothing every time.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  53. Evinia Bruce

    [first of all ..not EVRYONE is as you called "pesimistic" about the future]... ...another rhe torical question ...BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN platform would spell a disaster [DUH!!!!!] for the country ..so. yes, by default Obama's approvals are going up ..good grief!! ..can you you imagine a theocracy or a plutoctracy ?? so-called "socialism" is looking better and better ,,,but i would wager ANY anount of money ..most people in the USA couldn't give an educated definition of "socialism"....your politicians like to spread fear and loathing .."we don't want to be like those socialsts in Canada!!" ..well we rank 6th as the most desireable country to live in ...4th in education ...6th in healthcare ...as opposed to the US ranking ..37 in education ..26th in health care ..and one of the highest poverty/.child mortality and gap between the rich and poor in the western world ...so-called "socialsm' is simply helping those who need a leg up ...not everyone is destined to be an entrepeneur .[spelling.?]..nor is it "their fault!" .... are there abuses of the system ?..of course !1..
    Obama feels their pain ..Mitt and Rick want to add to their pain....
    B.C. Canada .......

    February 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  54. Bert from L.A.

    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.”

    February 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  55. Pat, Twin Falls, Idaho

    They're not rising, the media just says they are, we're Americans, we're supposed to believe everything the media says.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  56. Duane Petersen

    It is easy in a mid term election to rail against how bad the incumbent is and convince people a different path should be taken. It is entirely different when you must run your own flawed candidates out there as the alternative. With the major GOP competition being Romney the flip flopper (who shoots himself in the foot more often than Barney Fife), Gingrinch the mean and nasty (the Grinch who hopes to steal the nomination) and Sanatorum (who believes a woman's place should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen) Obama looks like a saint in comparison.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  57. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    President Obama's poll numbers are rising because the squabbling Republican alternative is increasingly ridiculous, especially since Rick Santorum, a man with the brains of lint, seems to be edging into the lead.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  58. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    probably because the Republican alternatives are SO much WORSE, Jack.

    Romney is a pure 1 percent "Vulture Capitalist" , Santorum is a "Christian Taliban" religious fanatic living in the 16th Century, Ron Paul comes across as "Crazy Uncle' ex for his foreign policy and Newt Gingrich is just plain NUTS.

    also, the economy is actually getting somewhat better. private sector jobs are increasing and, even here in Nevada, unemployment is trending down. people I know out here in Las Vegas are actually more OPTIMISTIC then they were even a few months ago.

    Oh, and check out the Stock Market. It's close to all time highs

    February 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  59. Rick, Medina, OH


    Politics is always a study of 'contrasts' ... this season's Republican contestants makes the 'Our Gang' cast of the 1930's look dull!

    Medina, OH

    February 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  60. LA Belle

    Because the Republicans have been so negative about doing for this country. In all honesty, who will vote for another 8 years of unfunded massive spending while blaming someone else for their egregious errors. There isn't even a tiny moment of remorse about what is happening to this country as they fiddle around until November. Ratings will go up for people that are trying to get things done.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  61. MNResident

    Becasue Americans are settling for less than they had in the past. It's an "Obama's pile of garbage smells less offensive than the other person's pile of garbage" mentality. It's all relative, and the country has reduced our expectations as our national decline continues.....

    February 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  62. Billy Sprinkle-Little Rock, Ark.

    Can we say because of the big elephants in the room ? ( Republican Candidates )

    February 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  63. curtis in philadelphia

    Seriously Jack? Have you not seen who he's running against?

    February 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  64. Jane in CA

    Have you seen the alternatives, Jack? Everyone of them is promising to make things worse, economically. Most of them are also promising to put the government in your doctors office and your bedroom to boot. Yet they promise an understanding and sympathetic ear to the thugs who beat up people who disagree with them, and hire security goons to rough up a few people at their gatherings to make sure that everyone knows it. Would you prefer someone who wants to hurt you or help you? The Republican nominating contest is the best boost Obama could ever hope for.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  65. joshua

    Poll are for idiots. Jimmy Carter was heading for easy reelection based on poll numbers. In reality, he lost by a landslide. I trust the landslide over any poll number you care to recite.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  66. Lou, Fayetteville, NC

    Obviously you haven't been watching the Republican "Flavor of the month" televised SPECIALS. They can't seem to find a winner now or in the last election when Obama won hands down. The Republicans will elect Obama again. Sure we are worried about our country's state of affairs but who better to sit in the White House than someone who is there now? At least we know something about him. The Republicans are the laughing stock of the world. If you, Jack, were in trouble, real trouble, .....which one of them would you turn to? Jack, get real! Tell us who you would choose.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  67. Wm in PA

    Simple – Santorum said yesterday in N. Dakota that all State and Federal money should be taken away from public education. But, when our PA senator he charged PA taxpayers $100,000.00/yr to for his wife to home school his children. His moral compass seems to read "I got mine – the heck with the rest of you" He needs a new book of morals to read. But this is the 1%ers dream – take all from the poor and give to the billionaires. No bread? "let 'em eat cake".
    President Obama has reversed years of losses and has the economy growing, slowly yes, but, growing reversing all the w years losses. Of, course his ratings are growing and will through his re-election.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  68. Ben from Boston

    Many reasons: here are 6 –
    1. He has been out campaigning for the past few months without much opposition, and he's a good campaigner.
    2. The Republicans are cutting each other up and mostly looking less competent and less presidential every day so Mr. Obama is looking better by comparison.
    3. There are signs that the economy is improving and thus starting to move in the right direction.
    4. He's expanding government programs especially in the economic realm (student loan assistance, government assistance, retraining, foreclosure assistance, etc.)
    5. He's putting off tax issues (except for the wealthy) and other contentious issues until after the election.
    6. He's not giving prominence to Obamacare in his speeches.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  69. Wm in PA

    President Obama has done exactly what candidate Obama said he would do. He is a man of his word who despite all GOP opposition has delivered: out of the wars, bring jobs home to the US, greater medical care for all etc.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  70. Gary H. Boyd

    I believe it to be a direct reflection of the on-going chaos among those running for the GOP Presidential nomination. The Republicans have become their own worst enemy and Obama is benefiting by not being involved in all of the back-biting taking place. Unless it ends soon and a candidate emerges that Republicans can seriously support, Obama's current situation will only improve further and America will have him for another 4 years. Sad, but true.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  71. Bob from Bellmore Long Island, New York

    It’s very simple Jack. Just look at the choices the Republicans are offering as an alternative. Not one of them is better qualified to run this country. And if anyone thinks they are, there is a bridge in New York I'd be interested in selling.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  72. Steve

    Well, compared to all the rest, how could they not?


    February 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  73. Howard P.

    At this point Jake, everyone is watching and notice he's truly the lesser of the two evils in the two PARTIES influential dualism over ideologies.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  74. Cy Gardner

    People know the Republicans and the Wall Street moneychangers and energy industry speculators have more to do with economic bad news than President Obama. He is trying to do something to protect employees and consumers save a decent future for America. The Republicans have one issue: let the rich have everything. It has apparently finally dawned on a growing number of Americans that making the rich pay no taxes and obey no laws is not the formula for prosperity that the GOP says it is. cy from arlington,va

    February 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  75. Jim, Denver CO

    It is because people are realizing that he wants to be part of the solution to our problems and not part of the problem that we call the Republican party today. The Republican storm tide of 2010 is going to be reversed in November if they don't get a clue and start to compromise. Everyone knows that and so does the president, and he is starting to take advantage of it. Just like we have been wanting him to do for a while.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  76. B. J., Quincy, Il

    In my opinionIt's because of his telling of how it is,it's seems to be hard for people to replace some one in office until end of term, and because people relize that he can't do it by himself, if congress would get together onsome of the issues then we might get some where.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  77. Paul Weller

    Simple Jack. The republican candidates all look so bad it makes the President look good.
    Paul, Edgefield Cnty, SC

    February 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  78. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Most intelligent people understand that the President has had zero help from a impotent and hostile Congress. GW left this country in the worst shape humanly possible, and you just can't fix that much damage in four un-assisted years. The public is too scared to let another right-wing wacko into the Oval Office, even if the Supreme Court has de-valued their votes with Citizens United. Corporate Statism, here we come.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  79. Mike S., New Orleans

    President Obama is the only one in D.C. trying to solve our current problems, instead of bringing down a presidency.
    Or maybe it's because the automobile industry bail out actually worked, and jobless claims are lowering? Or perhaps it's because people are finally rejecting the GOP media assertions that he a Muslim anti-Christ born in Kenya intent on turning our country socialist?

    February 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  80. Brad, Portland, OR

    I think the American people are smart enough to realize that the economy is bad because of 8 years of Republican misrule, and that President Obama has been trying to make things better, but the Republicans are obstructing him at every opportunity.

    It's almost like the Republicans WANT conditions to be bad in America so they can achieve their overarching goal of making President Obama a one-term president. That seems to be more important to them than the welfare of the country.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  81. Gordo from NJ

    With the Republican tantrum machine in a perpetual state of hysteria, President Obama appears to be the only grown-up in the room.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  82. Michael

    I believe most Americans have not been hoodwinked by the media, and know President Obama was dealt an exceptionally bad hand! Consider this, when he took we had a national debt of 11 trillion, a yearly deficit of 1.3 trillion, 2 Wars, 2 nuclear threats, Wall street, Banking, Mortgage,and Auto crisis. Jack, things are steadily getting better not worse, so lets give the President some credit, even though we aren't out of the woods yet, just past the trees!


    February 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  83. Ann from Charleston SC

    While the country's state of affairs is not so good right now, I do not think that every American is pessimistic. There are those of us who see the glass as half full and realize that the cycle will turn upward again. I cannot speak for the pessimists, but I think that President Obama is doing his best to get our nation underway and that he has made progress. He may not have done it the way some would like, and it may not be fast enough, but it will happen. Also I see him as a more level headed candidate than any of the Republicans in the primary.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  84. bud rupert

    By taking a look at the alternatives is probably the reason. That plus the economy does seem to be getting better at the macro level anyway. One other thing the President is doing that is appealing is talking about bringing back manufacturing. Whether or not that will EVER happen again is problamatic due to the global nature of the worlds economy. But it sure does sound good and what people want to hear. A positive message

    February 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  85. TomInRochNY

    Obama's poll numbers are rising because any good news is better than bad news any day. And, with Republicans in the House *gasp* compromising it must appear to many Americans like Obama is the second coming of Christ. 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.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    February 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  86. Ed New Freedom Pa

    Most are not stupid. He walked into a mess not seen since 1929. It took over 15 years and a war to resolve that. No matter the volume of some and the presumption of stipidity of the public the reality is to know this will take years. No one is happy with this but how do you hold one person responsible? If anyone it is congress the gave the permission slip for this to happen with gifts to favored lobbiest and intustries. So maybe fire them and start anew. Dysfuynctional government is not the responsiblity of one but all. Hopefully this will be the

    February 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  87. BILL, WI

    The Repubs dropped the ball when they started to pander to the far-right. When you chase after 10% of the population, the other 90% is up for grabs, and most of the independents will more than likely vote for Pres Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  88. jk for Minnesota

    Because he has tried to go the bipartisan route with a group of babies (the GOP Congress) who only want him to fail and take the country down with them. When you look at what you are hearing from the GOP candidates – frankly it scares me.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  89. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, be thankful that there is a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. It is always good to say, "NO" to bad policy. Any economic indicators that reflect improvement is in spite of Obama, not because of him or his liberal policies.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  90. Azad

    Because we have four republican candidates with the following portfolio:
    Santorum is an American Taliban who wants to impose Christian Shariah.
    Romeney is a bumbling politician changing his views like weather.
    Gingrich is a perpetual lier.
    Paul has good ideas no one loves.
    PS: I am a thrilled republican.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  91. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The GOP's sniping at each other is showing that they are profoundly unserious, as does their apparent unconcern for workers vs. "job creators." Obama is getting a pass for extending the economic insanity that got us here, largely because most know he was forced into it by the Republicans. The more they mock his attempts to undo the mess they made, the more the public supports Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  92. Charles - San Antonio

    President Obama's rise in the polls results from the republican primaries. The republicans appear upset that some economic conditions are actually improving because they know if things improve, they will lose the presidental election. The American people are also taking a good look at the alternative that the prepublicans offer: moon bases, making birth control illeage, returning to the same policies that created the financial crises, not compromising on anything, and not offering any real solutions to our economic problems. President Obama appears more in touch with what all americans want most – a solution to our problems.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  93. Renee Peoria,Ill

    Just look at his sorry competition. The president is projecting confidence while continuing to do his job, amid rising job statistics. The candidates on the right have tried one ploy after another, anti-birth control is just the latest. And one of the dumbest considering most Americans use birth control. They reek of desperation. I have die-hard liberals and conservatives in my family. My liberal relatives are confident that Obama will be re-elected. My conservative relatives have resigned themselves to the fact that he'll be re-elected, mostly because the choices their own party is giving them are pathetic. That pretty much says it all.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  94. Dan in Albuquerque

    The public realizes, just as Obama does, that the situation he inherited was much worse than it appeared, and that there are no quick answers. One thing is certain: big spending cuts alone are disaster in the making. The number of pessimmistic people has declined somewhat, but until the Tea Party/Norquist bunch is weakened or eliminated. voters are pessimmistic yhat the president can do it alone. I don't think most people blame the president, they blame congress and primarily the GOP. Polls show that.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  95. DaleW in MA

    You really have to define pessimism here. Things are indeed looking up and the economy is turning if you don't listen to Republicans and FoxNews. George Bush and Corporate/Wall Street greed really put us in a hole. The only way out is up and that's where we're going. Maybe not fast enough for the soothsayers but there is progress.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  96. Mack from Michigan

    The presidents poll numbers are rising because once again the voters realize that come November we are gonna be forced to elect SOMEBODY! The republican primary looks and sounds like a Saturday night live skit, The republican house and Senate Look and sound like talking dummies on the knees of the rich and big business interests and the whole dang bunch of em look and sound phony,condescending, and pompous! As far as I'm concerned fling open the gates o hell and send em all back to where they came from!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  97. Dave - Phx

    When you put him up next to any of the 11+ front runners that the Republican party has presented, he looks like a saint compared to these morally corrupt people.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  98. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Hi Jack, that's really simple; The GOP has no real plan to fix things other than more wars and tax cuts for the rich; The wannabes for President are self-destructing, the unemployment numbers are getting a little better and the stock market is doing well. However, it is a long time between now and November and the GOP will do everything in their power to destroy to good things that Americans are doing.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  99. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    When voters look a tad closer at the alternatives in the Republican field, they begin to realize that President Obama is the best choice for leadership for the country at this particular time in our history.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  100. andy Lynn, MA

    The president's poll numbers are rising for a very simple reason: the American voter is not anywhere near as stupid as the Republican Party and Fox News believe. If president Obama wants to be re-elected all he needs to do is advertise using the film clip of Mitch McConnell saying the Republican Party will do anything to ensure he fails and is a one term president. What the voting public has realized and the Republicans have not realized is it is the American citizen that is hurt, if not destroyed, by the Republican actions. Remember America, it was the Republicans that signed a pledge to a lobbyist, a blasted lobbyist, and hold that higher than their oath of office. Vote these Repiblican bought bums out!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  101. Clephas from Austin, TX

    It's fairly obvious, actually... The GOP candidates are so busy poisoning eachother's campaigns and simply shouting anti-Obama slogans that they've yet to make the American people think that they actually care about the central issues that will effect this year's election.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  102. Annie, Atlanta

    Rick McDaniel – socialists? Really? Have you ever had to live on unemployment benefits? Feed a family on food stamps? Tried to figure out how to keep a roof over your head and those of your family? Socialists? God I'm sick of hearing this nonsense. There is no welfare unless you have small children? There is no cheap housing unless you get on a list and get approved. Your only option is shelters or moving in with family. There's no free ride. There's just fear. There's no safety net if you don't fit a certain criteria. And jobs are hard to come by. The ignorance of this "socialist" and "free stuff" comments is stunning.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  103. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Look at the choices we will be facing in November. Whoever the Republican nominee is will be chosen from a pool of bat manure. So we have to decide between a lunatic hell bent on destroying the middle class and probably the country and an incompetent egghead who thinks giving the farm away before sitting down at the table is a good negotiating strategy. In other words a choice between evil and useless.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  104. Joe, OH

    It means it's election season-that and the fact that the Republican candidates are about as likable as that guy who trips over old lades.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  105. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    Jack, I know it is difficult for you people in the corporate media world to understand, but a slight majority of the citizens in this country are really paying attention to these Republican candidates. I have become more astounded in the last 3-4 presidential election cycles at exactly whom these two Plutocratic Parties are running as their front men (president). But, this Republican field is the worst in memory. Yes, that includes President Obama. I want sit it out because we still have the right to vote in this Plutocracy, but I can guarantee you that a lot of people are going to vote for a third-party candidate. Still, Obama will get the better draw over this latest group of candidates.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  106. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Perhaps it's because he has an IQ greater than room temperature.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  107. Gigi Oregon

    In my opinion it's the unfaithfulness of the Republican Party to the middle class and poor, the millionaires saying they should be paying higher taxes, the lack of cooperation from the Republican congress, the nasty Republican wan-ta be president candidates, Wall Street corruption, large bank fraud and mortgage corruption etc. I think the people have finally humbled themselves and realized they have been duped. And they are going to need to vote for change that will happen now that we have seen the true color of Capitalism and the war mongering party that feeds it, at the expense of the poor and middle class. Again in my humble opinion.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  108. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    President Obama's poll numbers are rising because voter's attention to , and awareness of , the republican alternatives is rising.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  109. Greg Turman

    There are leaders and there are poll followers.

    President Obama preaches green energy to save the planet (poll following), yet he has not signed the Kyoto Treaty to end global warming. This is non leadership.
    Furthermore, blaming Bush or blaming congress is poll following irresponsible leadership.
    Leaders are born and poll followers are "made".
    Gregory Turman

    February 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  110. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    This can be so because anybody who has paid attention to presidential elections knows that out of campaign marketing and corruption comes confusion. In the good ole USA if you ain't confused, your crazy and can still vote.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  111. Paul - North Carolina

    Because people are finally waking up to the fact that the sorry state of affairs in this country is directly attributle to the tea party victory in 2010. Come November those neanderthals will be voted out of office and sent back to their respective caves. With the Democrats back in charge the hopeful signs we're seing now will blossom into a full blown recovery. The polls show that most Americans want Obama at the helm when that happens. Oh yeah, there also those four clowns who think they should be president. If they don't make Obama look could I can't imagine what would.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  112. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    The Republican candidates are the people who are reminding us daily how bad things are. It's a matter of kill the messenger. President Obama continues on with his message of hope for America and adds to his poll numbers.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  113. Eve Lemon, Texas

    Considering the misogymist morons the republicans are blindely courting, the numbers should be higher. Eve of Texas

    February 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  114. Nora H G Corpus Christi

    When you are look at what the GOP is offering what are people suppose to do. You have Moe, Curly and Larry trying so hard to knock each other out, Obama looks great These men have zero respect for each other and the way they describe each other Who would you pick!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  115. RickFromDetroit

    The improving economy will decide the election. If the economy continues to improve, Pres. Obama will probably reverse the results of the 2010 mid term disaster. January & February are traditionally the 2 slowest months of the year, but the jobs picture is showing modest improvements and this is excellent.

    It appears now that the only thing standing in the way of an Obama re-election is the possibility of $5.00 a gallon gas this summer that could slow the economic improvements. $5.00 a gallon gas is good for the Presidents Green policies of "Electric Cars" but it is not good if gas raises too much at the wrong time, like right before the election.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  116. Matt (Denver, CO)

    Things are getting better, Jack. The President's approval rating, whomever the President is, are always based on the size of the roast on the table. When we can afford dessert, his ratings will skyrocket!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  117. Ron Balouville CT

    Jack we have looked at the Republican candidates and have decided were all doomed if one of them gets elected. so most americans will choose the lesser of two evils.....

    February 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  118. Michael from Lynbrook, NY

    it's simple Jack, Obama is doing a great job.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  119. Rusk

    The answer is simple, Jack. We can smell HOPE in the air.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  120. kevin

    Jack, think you could have made the right look any worse in your question. Maybe it is still the uninformed voters who will vote for him because they don't study the issues. How are those high gas prices working out for you?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  121. Jim In Pittsburgh

    Because people are starting to realize that President Obama is trying to solve the problems that Republicans are largely responsible for causing or making worse. Every cent donated to a Republican candidate, every second volunteering for a Republican candidate and especially every vote for a Republican candidate is a mistake that no one should make ever again.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  122. Steve Smith New Hampshire

    All you have to do is look at the news and what the republicans have been up to to know why Obama's poularity haas risen. Who wants those clowns continueing to run the show.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  123. Nell, South Carolina

    Because people have finally realized that the Republicans have done everything in their power to keep the economy bad. People have finally realized that defeating Obama is more important to Republicans than the welfare of the American people.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  124. Drew from PA


    Head of state, commander in chief, leader of the free world... Our country needs to support its leader to keep America #1. No matter if you like the guy or not, we need to respect the challenges of the presidency.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  125. JB from Nashville

    How a 15 Trillion debt can improve the President's poll numbers is not explainable by any reasonable thinking person.
    It's astonishing!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  126. Joyce Grissom, Marshall, TX

    They rise because "WE THE PEOPLE" have had a good look at the clown show put on by the GOPin congress and their candidates. Things are getting better which gives rise to hope, while we watch the FEAR and GLOOM extreme clown car ride through on national television and on line. Who would have thought this would be our entertainment for 2012.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  127. Zennie Abraham

    Jack, Barack, er, President Obama's poll numbers are rising in a Reagan-like way because people like him. When was the last time you ever heard anyone not a White House Reporter upset that he wasn't called on to ask a question, say they didn't like President Obama. He's engaging, empathic, and most of all able to disagree without being disagreeable. It's no wonder he has a number of friends who are conservative. It's that quality of being likable that serves the President will, and will continue to do so through the November election.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  128. Rich, Vancouver WA

    It's simple, Jack: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The GOP hopefuls have demonized each other to the extent that Obama looks pretty good by comparison. At this stage they are all tainted goods in my book.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  129. PiedType

    Because the GOP, with its dismal field of presidential candidates and two years of nothing but obstructionism in Congress, clearly has nothing better to offer.


    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Gilbrando from Texas

    Who believes polls?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  131. EJ Austell, GA

    Because more of us are realizing that the Republicans are more talk, but no show. The Republican are standing by the rich while hard working Americans are falling farther behind. This independent will vote for Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  132. Ralph Spyer from Chicago Illinois

    Is national health care bad when employers and cutting back on health care ,the largest employer in America is Wall Mart. Is saving GM so bad using tax payer money, saving hunred of thousand of good middle class jobs. Is killing the master mind of 9-11 so bad even thought we went into Pakistan.We still spend 40% more than we take in,and the Federal reserve bank owners should be in jail,but the President can only do so much, he doesn"t run the country any way.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  133. Bryan, San Diego, CA

    Obama's poll numbers rise despite of pessimistic outlook because the country is becoming better acquainted with the Republican presidential candidates. Simple.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  134. Edmund from Los Angeles

    The President's poll numbers are rising because he is clearly the best man for the job. The Republican candidates have consistently shown themselves to be extreme, right-wing zealots who now seem to want to tackle decades-old social issues rather than face the real problems of the country. And the Republican members of Congress have long shown that their main concern is in ousting this President, rather than doing anything positive (de-funding NPR, Planned Parenthood, and, again, dealing with social issues?). The President is a grown man surrounded by children. And this fact is only becoming more apparent over time.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  135. Alice Rogers

    When asked, I say I do not like the direction the country is going in, NOT because of President Obama, but because of the republicans who fight everything and get nothing done. Maybe the rest of the country is tired of all the bickering and the republican telling us what is best, when they care about the coditions the super rich, not the middle class.
    President Obama is the only chance we have to get this country moving in the right direction, hopefully some of his visions become reality!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  136. David P Vernon

    Presidential approval ratings reflect the trend, not the current condition. Now that the trend is obviously upward, the "he made it worse" mantra of his opposition is becoming less believable every day. The nerds knew this would happen and predicted it three years ago – staving off depression and stopping the bleeding started a slow but steady recovery that can no longer be denied. Barring some disaster, the polls will be even more in the President's favor by November, and Republicans cannot now get away with deniable sabotage.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  137. J Berg

    Easy Jack,

    Because Americans are finally starting to realize that although Pres. Bush drove the country off a cliff, Pres. Obama is a damn good President.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  138. Audrey

    His ratings are up because the Republicans have gone off the deep end over social policy issues and their policy of obstruction. Obama looks better every day as they continue to attack women, contraception and anything that is about helping average Americans.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  139. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    Because Mr. Obama is the only one is offering a positive outlook. Those bunch of birdbrain Replublicans are just throwing stones and acting like 8 year olds in the school yard.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  140. kevin

    or it could be the trickle up poverty voters are getting scared their free handouts might be taken away.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  141. Pam

    Have you seen the other choices LOL

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  142. Drew Marlton, New Jersey

    I think it has a lot more to do with the potential opposition from the GOP as opposed to Obama's actual record. With the inconsistent and untrustworthy Romney and what many would call hateful comments from Santorum regarding women and gays, independent voters are preemtively thinking of reasons to justify voting to reelect Obama.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |

    Well since most the media is for President Obama and he has the bully pulpit I could see why he's up. But also if you read today on Gallup he is at 43% so what poll is correct. Mount Vernon, Mo.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  144. DaveinSC

    Two reasons. First, looking at the GOP candidates for POTUS is a microcosm of what the party stands for. That is, give it all to the wealthy, let it trickle down from there.Secondly, Obama and the Dems. are the only ones that speak to and for the fading middle class. Nothing the GOP has offered addresses the concerns of the average American. To me their rhetoric tells me,'If your not a millionaire, your just lazy'.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  145. Stephanie - Seattle

    Obama is a good salesman. Lots of people forget that right out of the gate he raised income tax on unemployment compensation, that for the first time in his term he's finally addressing jobs and the economy albeit with conservative solutions only because he is trying to get re-elected. We are a shallow bunch Jack and love a feel good answer where we'll get free stuff and stick it to those who are successful. We'd rather hear that then the truth that those who understand economic issue will tell us. Obama is all hot air and we can't get enough of it. I've heard it said that people like obama but not what he does. All that tells me is that what he says and does are two different things. Some people call that lying. The koolaid is flowing and lots will drink it.... again. The only difference is that this time when he wins, there won't be anything to stop him because he doesn't have to please anyone. If you think the Catholic issue is robbing us of our freedom just wait until he's turned loose for a second term.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  146. Margot

    Have you watched enough Republican debates?? Seriously, even though the people in clown suits are mostly gone now-the level of discourse is tired, re-hashed anti Obama with no plans or vision for the future. Let's bomb Iran!!!!! Let's end Obama-care!!!!! Empty suits that are negative and mean-spirited. At least our President conducts himself with dignity and has hopeful plans for this country's future. I think America has grown tired of loud voices and mean spirits. Even if you don't agree with our President-he isn't an angry or mean guy. That counts. People are tired of all the shouting and anger.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  147. Jon in Tempe, Arizona

    The American people see progress. They see the numbers moving in the right direction even though they are not quite there. Romney and Santorum are not really offering anything economically different than Bush Ii did and we know what happenned when he was in office. They now see Obama as the best chance to improve the economy.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  148. Dawn, Bermuda

    Put simply Jack, they understand that the inept alternatives they have in the Republican field, are far worse.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  149. Charles - California

    The voice barometer is the current voter "flavor of the month" ...

    February 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  150. Gilbrando from Texas

    Americans are not aware of what is really going on in the United States,. Most Americans are clueless

    February 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Ryan - San Marcos, TX

    We all knew it would happen Jack. Republicans can start compromising all they want, everyone knows that they were willing to let the country fall apart in order to send a political message. Too little too late.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  152. Charles

    Despite the Republication Party's efforts
    The President is trying to do the right thing, sure he isn't perfect, but doing nothing is not an option. Also doing only one thing is not an option. It will take a lot to fix this problem, and it will have to be done slowly over a number of years, not just one big decision.
    Not unlike during the Clinton presidency the republican party has one goal. Get the Democrat president kicked out. Finally 50% of the people understand that

    February 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  153. Leo in NC

    I don't think many Americans trust that a party that doesn't look like them will properly represent their interests. America is diverse, and the GOP looks more like a white men's golf association than a political party, despite their daily "Illusion of Inclusion".

    February 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  154. Dan Awalt

    As an Independent American, I'll tell you why "I" think President Obama is doing much better. It's because the current crop of Republicans, from Senate to House to Candidates, pretty much sucks. He looks GREAT compared to these buffoons!
    Bradenton, Florida

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  155. Gilbrando from Texas

    The approval rating will not last long, have you filled up your car lately?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  156. Randy from Wheeling WV

    Jack it's simple the republican candidates are like Barnum and Bailey emptied out a clown car. How can you take any these guys serious enough to President? The President doesn't have any competition.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  157. Dan Villemaire

    Simple Jack you have a guy that ties his dog to the roof of his car, a guy that thinks contrception is a sin, a guy that wants to end the military and a guy that wanted two wives and he wasn't even the Mormon anyone who isn't in that group would have rising poll numbers.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  158. Luca in CA

    With the congressional republicans obstructing any progress whatsoever over the last 3 years, at the same time willing to fight tooth and nail over something as minor as birth control pills, Americans are finally attributing the general "wrong path" we're on not to the president, but to the worst congress in memory.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  159. Ryan Lowell

    They're rising because the numbers from the Department of Labor for unemployment have been rigged. A recent U-6 report put unemployment close to 15%. The people on TV see this and they believe what they're being told, but don't check the facts they've been given. Do the American people know they don't count people who haven't filled for a jobless claim or are working part-time. The only reason people are supporting President Obama is because all they truly care about is the unemployment rate, but it's rigged. Jobs have been added, but not thanks to Obama, but to the Federal Reserve's QEII running out in June. Unemployment has been going down since July, right? Coincidence? I think not. End the Federal Reserve!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  160. Mike

    Americans are giving the president credit because his policies are working and the economy is growing again. However, the economy has just started to turn the corner. It's going to take some time before all American's see a positive impact personally and therefore their perception of the country might lag behind their approval of the president.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  161. Marty from Michigan

    Because the people of this country believe the president is trying,and the only thing the Republicans have been trying to do,is to thwart anything that could be a success for himThe Republican motto is ".If the American people start to win,we lose"

    February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  162. Dawn, Bermuda

    And have you watched the Republican debates?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  163. Jacquie

    I think it is because he is the only one trying to do something, as opposed to republicans who just choose their way or the highway. Many Independents like me are just disgusted with the republican primary and the candidates this time around.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  164. Mary Ann Miller

    Because President Obama appears to be the only adult in the Congressional kindergarten sandbox. Especially with the presidential wanna-be's not learning "Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten"!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  165. Amy

    Amy, Houston, TX

    The Presidents polls are rising because the American people see he is working hard to restore the middle class. The Republicans preached they could and would create jobs, but all they done is said no to everything that's been presented. The American people care about jobs and everyone paying their fair share of taxes and getting our economy going again. They are less concerned with The Republicans focusing on birth control and gay marriage issues. Once agan, it's the economy, stupid!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  166. Marilyn Goodman

    It's simple, really. Elections are about the choices we are given, and the Republican alternatives are pathetic. Romney comes across as a phony, Gingrich is despicable, Santorum is so socially extreme he elicits memories of the Puritans, and Paul represents a philosophy most of us reject. And they are what's left after a larger bunch of the inept and inconceivable was winnowed down. Is Obama perfect? Of course not. He's just so much better than the choices the Republicans are offering to us.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  167. AB

    Obama's poll numbers are improving for the following reasons:
    * The economy and job market are slowly, but steadily improving.
    * Obama has delivered on some of his promises and appears to be an honest broker, unlike the Republicans.
    * The Republican Party is in chaos and disarray. None of the candidates are electable and the public knows it.
    * Obama has a record of accomplishments unlike his predecessor.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  168. Ruben from Oregon

    Obama's pol numbers are up because the president is focused on fixing problems and we appreciate it. Plus the alternatives are just plain awful. Santorum is so socially radical that he seems to be running for ayatollah rather then president and Romney changes his message so often that he's like a puppy chasing his tail; entertaining but useless.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  169. Ray Beaufait

    Because President Obama stopped the 2nd great depression, killed bin Laden and most other leaders of al-queda, and got us completely out of Iraq. He is the best President in my lifetime. Why would anyone ever vote against Obama for a Republican fanatic?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  170. Kevin Z

    The voters have heard and seen the potential Republican candidates which makes Obama look like the best president ever.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  171. A Southern Lady

    President Obama is a good and decent man and has worked tirelessly to restore our county after 8 years of Bush while dealing with the Republicans who have done everything possible to stop anything constructive. This is obvious to clear-thinking Americans and, along with the unbelievable damage done to the Republicans by their debates, it is clear that none of them are qualified to be president. We must give the President a second term to continue to get the county back on track. Obama 2012.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  172. Tom

    President Obama's stock is probably rising in the polls because people realize he is finally turning around the gigantic mess left behind by eight years of incompetence and dishonesty by ex-president Bush and his republican cronies.
    They look at the current crop of GOP candidates and do not want to return to THAT!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  173. Ron from NEBR.

    There are more people paying attention to the politics that have been happening since Obama took office and realize the problems we are having are not Obama's fault, but our Congress's lack of concern for the middle class. I have a feeling we will be seeing term limits for these dimwits in the near future and its about time! People remember the day Obama took office, Mitch McConnell told the country his only job was to see that Obama would be a one term President. The people of this country do not like this kind of attitude and are ready to do something about it!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  174. Larry in Houston

    Why are President Obama's poll numbers rising despite high pessimism over the country's state of affairs?

    Hate to be a bearer of bad tidings Jack, But don't you think the "internet" has anything to do with it ? This includes facebook / twitter / & a whole host of other social media outlets. Way Back – I'm talking Years & Years ago – before the internet or social media was around – the average person (on the street) that worked in restaurants / fast foods / diners / drive – ins / dives / Malls / hospitals / board of education / including teachers & school bus drivers / Dr.'s offices / manufacturing plants / and your typical person that works for the city / county / or state / whether it would be construction worker, or people that works in cubicles (offices) A Lot Of Those People didn't care much about Voting, or didn't care who was IN or OUT, or they were Not as Informed – Like They Are Now Days –

    In those days – I remember when people Just didn't care, because they KNEW they were Still going to get up in the morning, and Go To Work, day in & day out, no matter Who Was in Office, or Who was President.

    Those are the People that are Part of The 160 Million – that will end up having an "extra" 40 bucks per week in their Paychecks. Get It ?

    Bottom Line : The Independents and the "Average Working Person" that makes Less than 60 or 70K per Yr. is Going To End Up Deciding The Election. (there is way more 'average working people' in this country, than the rich people)

    February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  175. norman

    The American people have finally realized the mistakes they made in the mid term elections by sending the NO crowd to congress to further destroy the country that the last administration left in ruins. Since the economy is improving the Republicans have turned their attention to the way-far religious right to use prejudice to try to energize their bigoted base. They seem to have forgotten that America was founded upon separation of church and state but when all else fails they will ignore what our founding fathers fought and died for. President Obama has saved America and brought it back from the bring that doomed the Soviet Union. Re-elect Obama

    February 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  176. Jeff In Minnesota

    Have you seen the GOP contenders?

    February 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  177. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    I believe the reason behind Obama's surge in approval ratings is due to the fact that people are sick and tired of hearing the GOP and Tea Party candidates waste their time accusing the administration of a failing economy, the so-called 'attacks on women's rights', and the 'trampling of the Constitutional freedom of religion'. Plainly, the GOP candidates have chosen not to address how they would resolve or improve these things, and Obama has actually gone and done something about them. The GOP candidates need to keep this saying in mind 'Don't just talk about it, BE about it'.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  178. Rose

    The logical choice for me (a woman and an Independent) is to vote for Obama. I can't personally justify voting for any of the Republican candidates. I didn't like Romney when he was a Governor and he has since become too Conservative for me to vote him in as President. Newt is out of touch and just plain crazy. Finally, Santorum is so anti women and their rights that it terrifies me that he is even being considered a nominee. The only one that is moderate and has a positive outlook to women is Obama. So until the Republican party gets their heads out of the ground and realize that Radical Conservatism is what is hurting their party the most, I do not think they will have an electable candidate in the near future.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  179. Ed - CT

    It is pretty simple. The American public has compared what they have seen of President Obama and compared it to what they have seen from the Republican field. They have decided that they want their President to lead and live in this century, using today’s technology and actual facts. Not the turning back of time, proven bad social and economic policies and mythical world that the Republicans would prefer. Simply, reality setting in.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  180. Pete from Florida

    Simple – Bush and the Republicans CAUSED the bulk of our problems, while Obama has earnestly tried to FIX them, with some degree of success despite the Repubs roadblocking every effort – and nonpartisan voters recognize this. Why vote for the same party and people that caused our problems???

    February 16, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  181. BD Duxbury, MA

    As the Republicans bicker amongst themselves, sadly we are left with the Democrats ....truth be told we should all shake things up and vote for Ron Paul as he is actually intelligent and has a potential viable plan....our country no longer produces goods, no manufacturing, millions are losing their houses due to corrupt mortgage lending practices. It is indeed time for a change.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  182. Cynthia

    President Obama's approval is rising,because America is awakening to the GOP in the house and realizing that after the disaster of last year when they would have rathered let the country default than to work with the Presdient . He was willing to give them 10 to 1 in cutting spending vs. tax cuts. Go figure. By the way, the 6 in 10 Americans who feel things are still not good, that number will be lower come November when GOP are voted out.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  183. Gail, Plano TX.

    Apparently, Jack, the rumors of pessimism have been highly exaggerated and hyped by a rabid media. I see no pessimism here in the Texies. Barack Obama's popularity remains steadfast. Even TX has tired of the do nothing, money hungry GOP. The Pres. Is akin to a breath of fresh air!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  184. Brian (Illinois)

    Not much needs to be said here. He seems to be the best choice out of all those available. Yet it remans to be seen how many will vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE out of sheer frustration. In many ways, however, we have met the enemy and they are us. Example: We were warned nearly four decades ago about the consequences of continued oil dependency when we had to wait in long lines for gasoline. Nobody heeded the warning, and we continue to kick the can down the road no matter how high the cost.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  185. Bill from Maine

    The last 5 years have been tough on alot of people so now we,finally,get it. The keep the money with the rich scheme,that the Republicans have held so dearly to since the Reagan years never has worked.There is only one candidate that plans to tax the rich. And what do the polls say about taxing the RICH!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  186. Joan

    The reason for the great poll numbers of the President is because the people are not dumb. They have seen what has been going on. Everthing he has proposed to get the country moving again has been met with a NO. Even getting people back to work. All the President needed was a little cooperation to get things moving. He just can't do it alone. However, the American people are on his side. The Republican party better wake up and I am a Republican.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  187. Mitoosense

    Obama is winning in the default of the GOP. Obama is proving to be a better Republican than Bush/Cheney!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  188. Ron Hall Arkansas

    It has to be because the GOP field is so poor. The fact that the GOP cannot find a outstanding candidate is going to hand the election back to this financially irresponsible administration.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  189. CharlesfromPA

    Charles from PA,
    Independents demand rational arguments for the support of a candidates positions The fundamental cry from the GOP that President Obama is leading the country to financial ruin has been undermined by the cold hard fact that things have been getting steadily better since President Obama took office. In fact, almost all of the damage that resulted from situations that were created during the former administration has been erased. The public can no longer be swayed by the fear of imminent doom that the GOP counts on for their reactionary crusade against all of the good things that the government does for this country. The rational rug underneath the GOP’s rhetoric has been pulled out from under them.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  190. Donna Wisconsin

    Your blog is the only place I continue to read that people are pessimistic. You have been down on the Pres since he was elected. I find people have seen his fortitude in continuing to stand up for us. You should be blaming Congress. The President really has little actual power. Congress is at fault for doing nothing because they hate this black guy in the White House. The nerve of him!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  191. Katt

    Jack you seem to be very pessimistic ! everytime I tune in to cnn for a minute and catch you , if I was feeling better about things you bring me down! is that your job? That Candy women does the same thing!
    In 2oo8 you were not like this , is it something going on in your personal life again , that is causing you to be so pessimistic for it can't all be what is going on in this country today for this country has been doing stupid mess beeginning when G.BUSH TOOK OFFICE !!!

    February 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  192. Randy

    Because poll numbers like social issues are manipulated by the oligarchs to distract the dumb and ignorant masses from the wholesale of this country to the rich and corporations. 25 billion was the fine for a 16 trillion dollar theft and the media is talking about the catholic church and poll numbers.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  193. Rebecca from Georgia

    I feel Obama has been doing his utmost to make our economy better but he's been dogged every step of the way because his views and ideas are different from the norm. I feel that we cant survive if we cling to the past, we have to move forward, become stronger, more willing to help people and to ask for help. It is not weakness to ask for help but if we refuse to ask or to help we are acting above what we are. Obama knows this and is trying to lead us in the right direction and people are beginning to see that what he says is truly what we need.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  194. MDW

    MDW From San Antonio


    I guess US citizens are probably being realistic about the direction that we are moving and understanding that the country state of fairs are not going change overnight it going to take many years, but we are headed on the right course even though (POTUS) his critics never state the facts and are not being challenge by the media.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  195. marybeth, massachusetts

    I can tell that the improved numbers really gall you, Jack. I know that you'd prefer to see them in negative numbers.

    Why, you ask, are the numbers rising despite everything that you think he's done wrong or hasn't done? Because people have had more than a year to see and hear what the other side (republicans) would be like. Each of their candidates tries to be crazier, dumber, and more extreme than the last one, and I think people are starting to see that President Obama is the only one who is even trying to help ordinary people. All they hear from the republicans is "no", and give more tax cuts to the uber wealthy, give more subsidies to big corporations who already earn billions in profits each quarter, eliminate regulations (which is like giving the fox the job of guarding the henhouse), and then there's the republicans' declaration of war on women (with them making the biggest, most important issue out of birth control, instead of jobs and the economy).

    February 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  196. Jack - Toledo

    Jack, that's an easy one: Mitch MacConnell.

    February 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |