Barack Obama,  Polling,  President 2012

President 2012 Poll Watch: Obama Approval Up, But Below Other Presidents Who Were Re-Elected

According to the latest Gallup Poll.

President Obama’s job approval rating averaged 45.9% during his 13th quarter in office, showing improvement for the second consecutive quarter. His rating is essentially back to where it was before declining last summer and fall.

These results are based on more than 45,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted from Jan. 20 through April 19, the 13th quarter Obama has been in office since he was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

The improvement in Obama’s approval rating is likely tied to more positive economic news in recent months, especially concerning unemployment. Obama’s approval rating reached as high as 50% in Gallup Daily tracking, for April 3-5, before settling back down into the mid- to high 40% range in recent days.

Although Obama’s approval rating is improving, this is offset by the fact that it remains below the averages at the same point in time for presidents who were re-elected. All presidents since Eisenhower who were re-elected enjoyed average approval ratings above 50% during their 13th quarters in office.

Here is the chart of the other President who were re-elected:

The latest California unemployment numbers indicated that whatever economic recovery we have been experiencing lately may be short-lived. If American voters perceive the economy is not improving, President Obama will sink in the polls.

Obama remains short of the historical comfort zone — above 50% approval — that most successfully re-elected presidents achieved during their re-election year. However, he is not far below that threshold, and has seen his approval rating improve over the last two quarters.

The latest Gallup Daily tracking three-day rolling average of 46% suggests Obama is ending his 13th quarter at precisely his average performance for the entire quarter.

This means Mitt Romney has an opportunity.