Obama starts 2014 with rebound in poll rating

The new year is bringing some encouraging news for President Obama, with a new poll from Rasmussen showing his approval rating no longer under water for the first time since October.

Forty-nine percent of voters approve of the president's job performance — equal to the number who disapprove, according to the survey from Rasmussen Reports

It's the first time since Oct. 27 in the conservative pollster's survey that fewer than half of respondents said they disapproved of the president.

It also represents a 7-point rebound from the 56 percent of Americans who said they disapproved of Obama on Nov. 20 — the low point for his poll numbers in 2013.

The Rasmussen survey also found Democrats had taken a lead on the generic congressional ballot for the first time since November, posting a 40 percent to 38 percent edge over Republicans.

The survey results suggest that the repairs to the ObamaCare website might have helped stem the bleeding for the White House.

The poll found 48 percent of voters believed the U.S. healthcare system is likely to get worse because of ObamaCare, but that's down 8 points from a month ago. That represents the smallest percentage of Americans concerned about the effect of ObamaCare on the broader health care system since February.

The president might also have benefited from recent pushes on the minimum wage and unemployment insurance, both of which remain popular with voters.

Still, concerning signs persist for the president. According to the survey, 39 percent of those survey strongly disapprove of the president, while just 24 percent strongly approve, suggesting a softening of the president's base.

The poll of 1,500 likely voters carried a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.