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Is it good politics to support Obama in 2016?

Posted: 7:33 PM, Mar 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-16 23:33:38Z

It is no secret that Republican presidential candidates try to discredit President Barack Obama. Although the three remaining candidates are not running against Obama, they are running on the premise to undo policies adopted during Obama’s tenure.

In the last GOP presidential debate, Ted Cruz hammered Obama for his handling of the economy, and Middle East relations. Front-runner Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have also said they would undo Obama's executive orders, and try to dismantle the president's signature healthcare legislation.

Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has not shied away from her support of the president, as she has promised to build on the accomplishments of the president.

With that, is it good politics to embrace the president? If recent trends hold true, Clinton might be in a good spot by talking up the president’s accomplishments.

 

In Gallup’s weekly approval rating survey, it found that 51 percent of those polled approved of the president’s handling of his job. That is compared to 45 percent who disapprove of the president.

The president has seen an 11-percent surge in the last 16 months in his approval rating. 

Obama’s approval rating of 51 percent is at exact same level 10 months before he leaves office as it was for President Ronald Reagan 10 months before he left office. In the 1988 presidential election, his vice president George H.W. Bush won in a landslide.

Before Democrats celebrate these numbers, they should be taken with a grain of salt. In 2000, President Bill Clinton had a 60 percent approval rating seven months before the presidential election. His vice president Al Gore opted not to run off Bill Clinton’s policies, and ended up losing the Electoral College vote, although Gore did win the nation’s popular vote.