Tax Cut Extension Deal Boosts Obama’s Poll Numbers

Fiscal issues aside, the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts looks like a political winner all around:

Most Americans like the new tax cut law that President Barack Obama signed into law on Friday, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that while the tax cut compromise the president struck with congressional Republicans didn’t spark Obama’s overall approval rating, it may have given him a boost as “Triangulator in Chief.”

Forty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say they approve of the job Obama’s doing in the White House, with an equal amount saying they disapprove of how he’s handling his duties.

“The president’s approval rating is exactly where it was in mid-November before he brokered the tax cut compromise that angered some liberals and conservatives alike,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But while he has lost some ground with liberals, he has gained support among moderates. That’s important if Obama plans to borrow a page from former President Bill Clinton’s playbook and try to win re-election by ‘triangulating’ between the leaders of both parties on the Hill.”

The survey does indicate a slight deterioration among liberals, who generally opposed the tax cut compromise because it extended for two years the Bush-era lower income tax rates for the highest earners and because of a a revival of the estate tax at a lower level, which benefits the wealthy. The president’s approval rating among self-described liberals dropped from 79 percent in November to 72 percent.

At the same time, Obama’s approval rating improved among moderates – from 55 percent in November to 60 percent now. “That gain among moderates helped offset the drop among liberals,” Holland notes. “And that’s what ‘triangulation’ is all about – taking a hit among your base voters in order to improve your standing with swing voters who are more likely to vote for your opponent.”

The poll also indicates that 55 percent of the public thinks Obama’s policies will move the country in the right direction, with just over four in ten saying the president’s policies will move the nation in the wrong direction. Obama’s 55 percent is 11 points higher than the 44 percent who say the policies of congressional Republican leaders will move the country in the right direction. Americans are split at 48 percent on whether what congressional Democrats are proposing will move the country along the right path.

Fifty-one percent say that the GOP’s policies will move the country in the wrong direction, which could serve as a sobering reality check for Republicans who just last month won back control of the House of Representatives and trimmed the Democrats majority in the Senate.

Setting the stage for 2011, this could indicate that Barack Obama is in a far better position politically than many people believed.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, Taxes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Smooth Jazz says:

    LOL, Only a left wing blog can categorize a poll rating that hasn’t chnaged since Mid-November as a “boost” of Obama’s poll numbers. On the other hand, his recent 40% Fox JA number didn’t generate a blog post here. Rest assured, there will be new Palin poll indicating she is “Polarizing”, “Divisive” and ‘Can Never be elected President” that you can blog about any day now. Meanwhile in the real world, Obama is in WAY over his head and only fawning sychophants like “Tingle” Chris Matthews and blogs like this cannot see that.

  2. An Interested Party says:

    “LOL, Only a left wing blog…”

    Only someone completely divorced from reality would actually consider this site “a left wing blog”…

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Interested, was that the nervous laughter of someone found out? Talk about reality. Give me a date where this site has offered critcisim of Obama or his appointees. Not even a peep about Van Jones. A card carrying communist. I’ll be willing to offer a wager you think more highly of Che than you do of Joseph Mengele. Why? Che was certainly responsible for more deaths, personally.
    If you can muster just a little open mindedness. I want to to count the blogs on this site which are critical of the GOP and those which are critical of the Democrats. Notice any thing?
    Want a laugh? Explain how Obama, who had zero executive experience is qualified to be President and Palin who has plenty is not.

  4. Alex Knapp says:
  5. An Interested Party says:

    “Interested, was that the nervous laughter of someone found out?”

    I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Smooth Jazz, as it was he/she/it that was doing the laughing…

    “If you can muster just a little open mindedness.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA…by the way, that was a guffaw directed at you, a person who is obviously irony-challenged…

    “Explain how Obama, who had zero executive experience is qualified to be President and Palin who has plenty is not.”

    Oh yes, she has experience alright…experience at quitting her executive position…

  6. Tano says:

    “Meanwhile in the real world, Obama is in WAY over his head and only fawning sychophants like “Tingle” Chris Matthews and blogs like this cannot see that.”

    Actually, Smoothjazz, as the poll indicates, in the real real world, the American people are evenly divided on the question.

    Actually that is not quite right either. Half the people disapprove of his job performance, but we cannot assume that all of them feel he is in way over his head. In fact, it is almost certainly the case that many of those who disapprove do so because he they feel he is highly competent at leading the country in a direction they do not wish it to go.

    We can assume that those who approve of his performance do not think he is in over his head.

    That leaves you, and your “real world” as a rather distinct minority.

  7. anjin-san says:

    > they feel he is highly competent at leading the country in a direction they do not wish it to go.

    Bingo. One day, he is portrayed as a helpless, clueless, empty suit. The next, he is changing the entire American way of life beyond recognition. The two are kind of mutually exclusive.

  8. Kylopod says:

    One day, he is portrayed as a helpless, clueless, empty suit. The next, he is changing the entire American way of life beyond recognition.

    With a little Internet search, it is not difficult to find instances where Obama is portrayed as both of those things on the same day–hell, sometimes in the same article, or even the same sentence:

    “There’s the dangerous kind [of boring] that…seduces people to vote for an unaccomplished, empty suit with a radical agenda and a history of cocaine use.”

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/05/our_dangerously_boring_celebut.html

    That’s just one example. There are numerous others.