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The presidential campaign seems to be reminding Americans that they really like Obama

President Obama Hosts Canadian PM Trudeau On His Official Visit To Washington
President Obama is having a good week.
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

As President Obama prepares to leave office, Americans are starting to like him a little more. The latest Gallup data on Obama's approval ratings found 50 percent of Americans approve of the job he's doing — the highest level since 2013.


That's much better than Obama's average 46 percent approval during his seventh year in office, which ended January 19, and the 43 percent approval rating during his sixth. Obama is also much more popular than George W. Bush was at this point in his presidency, and nearly on par with Ronald Reagan during Reagan's final March in office.

But Reagan was much more popular with Democrats than Obama is with Republicans. Just 11 percent of Republicans approve of Obama's performance.

Obama's climbing approval rating is the result mostly of shifts among Democrats (87 percent approve of the job he's doing, up from 81 percent in December) and independents (45 percent approve, up from 42 percent in December).

Gallup notes that the presidential campaign is probably playing a role — either because Obama is such a stark contrast with Donald Trump or because the election is reminding Democrats of how much they like the president.

President Obama explains why he is such a polarizing political figure

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