Obama’s approval rating plummets

President Obama enjoyed a surge in popularity this week — but the bounce proved to be remarkably short-lived.

A Gallup tracking poll released Thursday showed that Obama is once again underwater, plummeting to 41 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval, a sharp drop from earlier in the week.

A survey released Monday showed the president had a sudden uptick in the opinion poll, with 47 percent of respondents approving of the way he was handling his job and 45 percent disapproving. It was the first time since July that more people viewed him favorably than unfavorably.

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The bounce in popularity came on the heels of the payroll-tax cut debate, when Senate Democrats and Obama stood firm to force House Republicans into accepting a two-month deal. 

After emerging as the winner in that debate, the president headed to Hawaii on Friday for a Christmas vacation with his family.

Obama, who has spent much of his down time on the golf course and out with his family, has not appeared at a public event since leaving Washington.