Faced with Trump, Americans are really appreciating Obama right now

Obama with singer Diana Ross.
Obama with singer Diana Ross.
Image: Reuters/Carlos Barria
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As his term draws to an end, Barack Obama is gaining in popularity. According to a new poll from CNN/ORC, the president’s approval rating, 57%,  is highest since September 2009, when it hit 58%. His favorability rating is even higher at 59%, and far surpasses that of his own party, at 39%, not to mention the GOP, at 41%.

CNN says that his higher approval rating can be attributed to Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, since the Democrats’ support for the president has been steady.

Obama’s high approval at the end of his term follows that of Bill Clinton in 2000, and is at the same level as Ronald Reagan’s right after the 1988 election. George W. Bush’s approval was at a mere 24% in November 2008.

Presidential approval ratings tend to rise, even if slightly, toward the end of a US president’s term. But some of this love for Obama, whose approval rating was at only 50% right before the election, according to Politico (whose poll has his current approval at 54%), could stem from an uneasiness about the president-elect. Trump’s favorability is at 46%, up from 37%—a common upswing for president-elects, although a much smaller one than Obama’s in 2008, who saw his favorability rise 20 points right after the election.