President Obama's job approval rating hit 50 percent for the first time since October in a new Public Policy Polling national survey conducted May 7-9.

While 46 percent of registered voters disapprove of the president, he remains popular within his own party. Obama has an 83 percent approval rating among Democrats.

Republicans remain steadfastly opposed to his agenda -- only 14 percent approve of his handling of the job. Meanwhile, Independents are almost evenly divided on his presidency.

PPP's Tom Jensen writes: "If Obama's numbers stay in this range he probably won't give Democratic candidates a big assist this fall, but he won't be a huge liability either."

In the meantime though, candidates in Democratic primaries are trying to embrace the president as closely as possible.