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We've been following the daily Rasmussen Obama approval rating, and, to put it simply, Obama is doing fantastic. The day after the election, Obama's Approval rating was 52-44, pretty much an exact match of the election numbers. So we can basically assume that all people who Approved of him voted for him, and vice-versa for the 44%.
So what's happened since?
67% of likely voters now Approve of Obama's performance as President-elect, and 30% Disapprove. That's a shift of 15%, almost exactly 1/3 of the original Disapprove number. So 1/3 of people who voted for McCain now approve of the way Obama is doing his job. Pretty impressive. And half of the gain has come in the last week - I think his pick of Clinton is likely responsible for much of the latest gains.
But dig a little deeper, and the numbers look even better. The day after the election, his Dissaproval number was divided, 32% Strongly Dissaprove, and 12% Somewhat Dissaprove. Today, it's 15% Strongly Dissaprove and 15% Somewhat Dissaprove. If we assume no one has moved 2 categories, then 17% moved from Strongly to Somewhat Dissaprove, and 14% moved from Somewhat Dissaprove to Somewhat Approve. (Note that Obama's Strongly Approve number has basically remained constant). Which means a total of 31% of the total, or 70% of McCain voters, have improved their opinion of Obama since the last month.
We should also note that Gallup has even better numbers: 78% Approve, 13% Disapprove, including 94% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 57% of Republicans who say they approve.
It's numbers like these that will get moderate GOP Senators to not support filibusters in the spring. Which makes getting to even 59 Senators not as crucial as some have made it.
Which all makes this article by Stuart Rothenberg already out of date:
Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?Well, with approval ratings of 67% and 78%, and with 1/3 of McCain votes (Rasmussen) or 57% of Republican voters (Gallup) approving of Obama, the country is not so divided as Rothenberg would like to think.
President-elect Barack Obama says he wants to bring America together. While that rallying cry sounds good to many people, it would require a Herculean task that may well be impossible.
Further, the size of Obama’s victory and the nature of the problems that he will confront don’t suggest the end of division.
Obama’s 53 percent victory was a solid win, far more decisive than the last two presidential elections. But it was hardly a blowout.
In other words, America did not “come together” to elect Obama. The country was divided, and while most Americans now hope that he can solve the nation’s problems, the new president’s choices will invariably require him to make trade-offs — trade-offs that are likely to anger some, maybe many, Americans.