Better Economy Slowly Sinking In

So a new CNN/ORC survey shows two things that appear to be closely interrelated:

Tuesday’s CNN/ORC poll showed for the first time in seven years, a majority of Americans — 51% — have a positive view of the economy, a sharp increase from the 38% who felt that way in October.

The jump was present in every demographic group — men, women, whites, non-whites, urban, rural — and was largest among Americans who earn less than $50,000 annually….

More Americans still disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President. But at 48%, Obama’s approval rating is at its highest point in CNN polling since May 2013.

The gains were driven by newfound backing among women, independents and millennials — groups where Obama’s approval numbers jumped 10 percentage points from a month ago.

It’s taken a combination of steady job growth, lower unemployment rates, relentlessly rising stock markets, and precipitous gas price drops, but the idea that the economy is now fully in recovery is spreading. That’s not enough to lift Obama’s approval ratings among Republicans, with whom he is less popular than ever thanks to the executive action on immigration. But if nothing else, the economic policy debate in America is changing, and as I noted yesterday, a new dynamic focused on income gains rather than employment levels is not good for the GOP.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.