While the American people are still not feeling good about the state of the economy, they are feeling much better about it than they have in months, according to Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index. From Gallup:
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index has averaged -38 thus far in December, up from -45 in November — putting December on track to be the most positive month for consumer attitudes since June. However, confidence remains depressed in comparison to the already weak levels seen from January through March.
This is good news for President Obama’s political prospects. Obama’s job approval rating is highly correlated with the American people’s economic outlook. For example Obama’s job approval rating according to the Gallup tracking poll is now the highest it has been since early July, right before the economy confidence index started falling below -40. Now that the economic index is finally above -40 again, Obama’s net job approval rating is net positive for the first time in months, with 47 percent approve to 45 percent disapprove.
If the American people’s economic confidence continues to follow the upward trend it has been on for the past several months, Obama will be in strong shape come November. Of course there are plenty of potential negative events, such a worsening crisis in the Eurozone, that could easily send economic optimism plummeting again; these would drag Obama’s job approval numbers down with them.