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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

Obama Beats Bush

By one measure, the president is outpolling his predecessor.
The president still may be a drag on his party in the midterm elections. Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
The president still may be a drag on his party in the midterm elections. Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In February, I asked whether Barack Obama's approval ratings had pulled ahead of those of George W. Bush at a similar juncture in his presidency, ending a long period where they were basically tied. We now have evidence they have.

Today, Galluphas Obama at 41 percent approval, which is probably a bit lower than his true Gallup score from the last few weeks. HuffPollster's polling average estimates the president's approval at 43.7 percent and slowly rising. A month ago, the trend was less clear, and results varied depending on whether one looked at regular polls or those that were more sensitive to recent changes. Now the two methods are showing essentially the same thing: Obama bottomed out in November or December and has been improving gradually since.