Obama's approval numbers rise

Obama's approval numbers rise
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President Obama's approval rating has jumped 7 percentage points since October, according to a new poll released Wednesday, suggesting that promising economic news is buoying the White House.
 
Some 46 percent of Americans now approve of how the president is handling his job, according to the survey from CBS News. An equal number say they disapprove of Obama's job performance. 
 
The spike in approval comes largely from Democrats and independent voters, who had become dispirited with the president before last year's midterm elections. While just a third of independents said they approved of Obama in October, 45 percent do so now.
 
But the president has also undoubtedly benefited from a spate of promising economic signs. A full 43 percent of Americans say his policies have helped the economy, while a third say they have hurt it. Some 57 percent say the recent reduction in oil prices is improving the economy.
 
Fears of a terror attack on U.S. soil have spiked in the aftermath of the mass shooting at a French satirical newspaper, with 57 percent saying it is at least "somewhat likely" that terrorists will target the country. But that's lower than the 66 percent who felt that way after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
 
White House aides have explicitly stated they hope to build on the president's recent polling bump and have used a State of the Union preview tour to roll out additional proposals for free community college, new cybersecurity laws and lower federal mortgage rates.
 
"We want to keep it going," press secretary Josh Earnest said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. "And our sense was that part of our success relied upon the president really being forward-leaning and trying to be provocative and lay out some policies and really demonstrate some forward movement. And so we wanted to pick that up right at the beginning of the year by laying out some new policy ideas that the president is going to talk about."
 
The president's approval rating is 18 percentage points higher than George W. Bush's at the same point in his second term but lags behind both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. Some 65 percent of Americans approved of Clinton entering his seventh year, while just over half supported Reagan.