Poll: Obama's approval rating at highest level since bin Laden's death

President Obama’s approval rating has spiked to a three-year high in the aftermath of the 2012 election, according to a survey released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

Fifty-three percent said they approve of the job the president is doing, compared with 40 percent who said they disapprove. In the previous survey conducted by Quinnipiac, in July, Obama’s approval rating was under water, at 45 percent positive and 49 negative.

Obama’s high point in the survey came in June of 2009, shortly after he was inaugurated, when he scored 59 positive and 31 percent negative.

“Nothing like winning an election to boost your job approval,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement. “President Barack Obama hasn't had a score this good since his 52-40 percent approval rating May 5, 2011, right after the death of Osama bin Laden.”

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Additionally, those surveyed said they trusted Obama and the Democrats by a wide margin over Republicans to handle the “fiscal cliff.” Fifty-three percent said they had more confidence in Democrats, against 36 for the Republicans. A majority said they believe Obama and the Democrats will make a good-faith effort in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, while a majority said they didn’t expect the same from Republicans.

Voters support the president’s proposal to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year by an even wider margin, 65-31. A plurality of voters support raising capital gains taxes, and majorities oppose cuts to Medicaid, raising the Medicare eligibility age and cutting military spending.

Sixty-six percent said the best way to reduce the deficit would be through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts.   

When asked about Grover Norquist’s pledge to never raise taxes under any circumstances, signed by some Republicans, 85 percent said it was a bad idea to sign a no-tax pledge, including 77 percent of Republicans, compared to only 15 percent who said they supported it.

The Quinnipiac University poll of 1,949 registered voters was conducted between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,949 registered voters nationwide, giving the poll a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.