Poll: Obama approval rating hits three-year high at 60 percent

President Obama's personal popularity continues to surge, with six in 10 voters saying they have a favorable impression of the president in a poll released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, shows the president's highest approval since his first year in office, with 60 percent favorable to 37 unfavorable. Obama appears to be harnessing a well-received inaugural address, of which 51 percent of those surveyed said they approved, with just 24 percent disapproving.

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The president is also eliciting more strong support for the first time in years. While nearly four in 10 say they have "strongly" positive impressions of the president, just 26 percent have "strongly" negative sentiments. During last year's impassioned election contest, Obama's "strong" negatives regularly outpaced those who passionately liked the president.

Further indication that the president has rallied his political base: Eighty-seven percent of liberals hold a favorable opinion of the president, up 17 points from a year ago. Obama also posted double-digit gains with young voters aged 18-39 and seniors over age 65. The president added 2 points with political centrists and 4 points with conservatives. The only group Obama lost favor with over the past year was self-identified Republicans.

The president now holds the favor of six in 10 independents and 68 percent of self-identified moderates. While eight in 10 Republicans disapprove of the president, a full 92 percent of Democrats approve.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted from Jan. 23 to 27, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.