Bloomberg News

Obama Approval Hit 15-Month High During Party Convention

September 07, 2012

President Barack Obama’s job approval reached a 15-month high during the Democratic National Convention this week, according to a Gallup Poll.

The poll, conducted Sept. 4-6 and released today, found that 52 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, up 3 percentage points from the previous survey, conducted Sept. 3-5. In the latest poll, 43 percent disapproved of the job Obama is doing, down from 45 percent.

Obama’s job approval hadn’t topped 50 percent in the Gallup survey since a poll conducted June 21-23. The latest approval numbers are the president’s highest since a survey conducted May 29-June 1, 2011, in which Obama registered a 53 percent approval rating.

The bump in Obama’s rating coincides with his party’s nominating convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week. Obama accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in a speech last night before heading to a campaign event today in New Hampshire where he discussed an unexpected slowdown in August job growth that could temper his momentum from the convention.

The poll released today has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points and is based on telephone interviews with about 1,500 adults.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney got no “bounce” in his poll standings from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 28-30, Gallup reported Sept. 4.

Since 1964, Gallup has measured such a post-convention improvement in polls for every major-party candidate except Democrats George McGovern in 1972 and John Kerry in 2004.

Unemployment Reaction

The Labor Department reported today that the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, down from a revised gain of 141,000 in July. While the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, that resulted from more people giving up looking for work.

“We know it’s not good enough,” Obama said today during the event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “We need to create jobs faster.”

Romney seized on the jobs numbers when he landed in Iowa for a campaign event in Orange City. The employment report shows Obama’s policies aren’t working, Romney said.

“The president has been unable to deliver on virtually any of the promises he made four years ago,” Romney said.

The race between Obama and Romney remains too close to call coming out of the conventions, Gallup said today. In Gallup’s latest poll, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 48 percent of voters said they would support Obama if the election were held today, compared with 45 percent who said they would back Romney.

Essentially Tied

While that represents a slight numerical shift toward Obama -- the breakdown was 47 percent for Obama and 46 percent for Romney in a survey conducted Aug. 30-Sept. 5 -- the race remains essentially tied given that the poll had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2 percentage points.

The median post-convention bounce for a presidential candidate among registered voters is 5 percentage points, and the average is 6 percentage points, according to Gallup data for presidential elections from 1964 to 2008.

The biggest bounce was a 16-point lift for Bill Clinton after the 1992 convention that presaged his victory over George H.W. Bush that November. Following their 2008 conventions, Obama experienced a 4-point boost and John McCain rose by 6 points, Gallup data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at jschneider50@bloomberg.net


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