Poll: Obama Benefiting From Improving Economy

Voters like the way he's handling the nation's postrecession economy.

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The Associated Press is reporting that a new poll shows that President Barack Obama is winning bipartisan approval among voters and lawmakers for his handling of the nation's postrecession period.

But the good news is tempered by the fact that Americans who are still feeling a strain in their pocketbooks are now starting to fret over rising gasoline prices, according to the AP. "Just weeks before the summer travel season begins, the Associated Press-GfK survey finds pump prices rising in importance and most people unhappy with how Democratic president has handled the issue," the story reports.

There is evidence that the nation is becoming markedly more optimistic, and that Obama benefits from that attitude.

Thirty percent in the poll describe the economy as "good," a 15-point increase since December and the highest level since the AP-GfK poll first asked the question in 2009. Roughly the same share say the economy got better in the past month, while 18 percent said it got worse, the most positive read in over a year.

Looking ahead, four in 10 said they expect the economy to get better in the next year and a third said they think the number of unemployed people in the U.S. will decrease, the highest share on either question since last spring. A quarter of those surveyed said they expect the economy to get worse over the next 12 months, while 31 percent said it would stay the same, the poll found.

As optimism has risen, Obama has received a corresponding bump in his approval rating for handling the economy. Forty-eight percent now say they approve of how he's handling it, up 9 points from December…

This is good news not only for President Obama but also for the nation. It is long past time that we begin to move beyond the obdurate economic crisis. However, ballooning gas prices are a big concern. While he doesn’t have a great deal of control over foreign oil prices, the president is acutely aware that it means a higher cost of living for voters. That is why it is important for him to promote domestic oil and gas exploration.

Read more at the Associated Press.

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