For the first time since January 2004, more Americans are optimistic about the direction of the country than are pessimistic, according to an AP poll.

48% of respondents said the country is on the "right track," compared to 44% who say it's going in the "wrong direction." In October, the "right track" number stood at 17%. When Obama was elected in November it bumped up to 36%.

Of course, this is great news for Obama, who seems to be selling the country on his agenda. But it would also seem to be good economic news, since we're told there is a strong psychological component to the crisis.

The poll found Obama's job approval at 64%, down only 3% since February.

From AP's Ron Fournier and Trevor Thompson:
Nobody knows how long the honeymoon will last, but Obama has clearly transformed the yes-we-can spirit of his candidacy into a tool of governance. His ability to inspire confidence--Obama's second book is titled "The Audacity of Hope"--has thus far buffered the president against the harsh political realities of two wars, a global economic meltdown and countless domestic challenges.

"He presents a very positive outlook," said Cheryl Wetherington, 35, an independent voter who runs a chocolate shop in Gardner, Kan. "He's very well-spoken and very vocal about what direction should be taken."