News, Politics

President Obama’s Ratings Are Up

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President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech has boosted his popularity.
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech has boosted his popularity.

President Barack Obama received a 50 percent job-approval rating, following his State of the Union address this month, but among African Americans, his ratings dropped three percentage points, according to a Gallup Politics survey.

During his State of the Union address on Jan. 20th, President Obama delivered a populist message calling for free tuition at the nation’s junior colleges and make paying for child care easier for working families. He said inequities in the justice system must be addressed. In addition, President Obama discussed racial tensions between black men and the police. This has led to more Americans mentioning race relations at the nation’s top problem in December, Gallup reported.

Following the speech, his job- approval rating reached 50 percent for the first time since 2013, according to a telephone survey conducted Jan. 23-25 of 1,527 adults 18 years and older in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The president’s improved job-approval rating, however, is tied to the improving economy. President Obama’s mentioned during his speech 11.2 million private-sector jobs have been created in the past 58 months.

“Notably, the recent uptick in Obama’s weekly job rating follows a period of significant improvement in Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy,” Gallup officials wrote. “Economic confidence started improving improving in September. It then intensified in late December when Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index crossed into positive territory for the first time in more than seven years, and it has remained has since remained positive. Americans’ ratings of Obama appear to be catching up with their improved economic views.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that in non-farm businesses added 252,000 jobs in December and the overall unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent.

Although jobless rate dropped last month to 11.0 percent from 11.2 percent in November among African-American men 20 years old and older, it was still much higher compared with men in other ethnic and racial groups.

The president’s job rating among African Americans dropped to 86 percent from Jan. 19 to 25 from 89 percent in Dec. 22 to 28.  The 3 percentage point drop, however, is within the margin of error.

His approval rating, however, is up among whites and among young adults 18 to 49 years old. The president’s ratings have also improved among lower-income and lower-middle-income Americans, but the ratings are down among higher-income Americans.

During his State of the Union address, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to support free college tuition and he wants to enhance tax credits for child care.

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