Gallup is having some difficulty figuring out why the President’s job approval just hit a 16-Month High:
It’s often difficult to pinpoint why a president’s job approval rating goes up or goes down. The bin Laden raid was one of those times when the causal factor was pretty clear.
Now, it’s less clear. The proximate event that provides a reasonable or possible cause is Obama’s trip to Europe. The news coverage has been generally positive, with many pictures of the president appearing statesmanlike and in the company of Irish and British leaders. It’s possible as well that the tragic destruction and deaths caused by tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and elsewhere in the Midwest — and Obama’s pledge to visit Missouri this weekend upon his return from Europe — could be producing a rally effect of sorts.
At any rate, we’ll continue to monitor.
The supposition of a “rally” effect, similar to the one that may explain Israeli approval of Netanyahu rising to parallel approval levels, seems reasonable, though I suspect in Obama’s case it has less to do with “generally positive” news coverage, and even less than with a pledge to visit Missouri, than with the mere fact of the Europe trip – of the OBL-Slayer venturing forth amidst the unworthy furren multitudes.
The other thing that’s going on, I submit, may be buyer’s remorse over the Republican Congress and Tea Party conservatism. The political debate over the Republican Budget and its “end of Medicare as we know it” appears to have been won decisively by the non-ideological conservatism of the public: We think we’d like continuing to have our parents and eventually ourselves flowing into socialized medicine when most vulnerable. My personal guess is that people would be willing to take a greater tax hit, and deal with other inconveniences and compromises, rather than try to figure out how Mom & Dad, or how they themselves, are supposed to spend a voucher in an ever-inflating private health insurance market.
Otherwise, conservatives in government seem to offer reflexive opposition to and exaggerated condemnation of the President, almost regardless of the issue, and beyond that blood, sweat, toil, and ever lower taxes for the wealthy. To the extent that anyone beyond political junkies is even aware of Republican presidential candidates, they’re being exposed to… the Republican presidential candidates.