Gallup: Obama’s approval at 56 percent

President Obama's approval rating has risen to 56 percent in the Gallup poll, the highest rating in the rolling survey since October of 2009.

That the president's post-election approval continues to grow despite a failure to strike a deficit deal could be a troubling sign for House Republicans looking for leverage in the final days before the "fiscal cliff" deadline. The poll might also be evidence that the nation may be rallying behind Obama and his gun control efforts in the aftermath of last week's school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

There remains a sharp partisan divide in the approval ratings. While 91 percent of Democrats approve of the president, 54 percent of Independents and 16 percent of Republicans say the same. Obama's surge was driven primarily by improving his numbers with the latter two groups; in the preceding week, just 47 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans said they approved of the president's handling of his job.

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"The timing of the increase in Obama's ratings could reflect a broad-based public reaction to the Newtown shootings, similar to the 'rally around the flag' effect often seen at the start of wars and other threats to national security, in which Americans rally behind their leader," said Gallup's Frank Newport in a statement.

But the polling organization also noted that the president carries a significantly higher approval rating than Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on handling of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. While 48 percent approve of the president's fiscal cliff negotiations, only 25 percent say the same of Boehner.

The percentage of Americans that disapprove of the president also hit a post-reelection low, with just 37 percent of those surveyed saying Obama was not handling his job well.