Americans are more optimistic about the U.S. economy than they have been in years, and that upbeat mood has pushed President Obama’s job-approval level to its highest point since the spring of 2013, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Tuesday afternoon.
The poll showed 51 percent of Americans with a positive view of the economy, up from 38 percent in October.
It was published on a day that the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 18,000 for the first time, with the economy’s growth rate up to 5 percent in the fall.
Obama is a beneficiary, his approval rating climbing four points to 48 percent. A total of 49 percent of those polled still feel the 44th president’s policies would take America in the wrong direction.
The CNN/ORG poll was taken Dec. 17-21, interviewing 1,011 adult Americans. It has an error margin of plus/minus 3.5 percent.
A second survey, by ABC News and the Washington Post, found good news for the president on another front. Two-thirds of those surveyed approve of Obama’s decision to resume U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba and move to end a half-century estrangement between the two countries.
The resumption of diplomatic ties wins approval by a 64-31 percent margin. Even Republicans give a narrow 49-47 percent thumbs-up, despite thunder and fury from their party’s leaders in Congress.
Other measures get an ever greater endorsement.
Lifting the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba — which would take approval from Congress — is backed by a 68-29 percent margin. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans would have us do commerce with the communist-run island nation.
A relaxation of travel restrictions is favored by a top heavy 74-24 percent margin, even winning a two-to-one endorsement from Republicans.