Monday, 7 November 2016

Barack Obama's approval rating nears record high as election day looms

Barack Obama's approval ratings have neared a record high, according to a poll that was released one day before America chooses his successor.

The Gallup survey found 56 percent of respondents viewed the US president favourably, which is 12 points higher than his approval figures in June last year when the presidential race began.

It is, however, still short of the highs he saw in the first six months after his election in 2008 when his ratings were often well over 60 percent.

Hillary Clinton is hoping his ratings - which are much higher than hers - will provide a boost to her campaign as the president travels around the country stumping for the Democratic nominee.

"I ask you to do for Hillary what you did for me," Mr Obama told a rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan - the first of three he was holding for Mrs Clinton on the eve of Tuesday's vote.
Barack Obama's approval rating nears record high as election day looms
"You have the chance to reject a coarse, divisive, mean-spirited politics that would take us backwards," he said. "The chance to elect our first female president."

At a rally in Durham, New Hampshire later, the president acted as cheerleader-in-chief once again.

"The world is watching us right now. This is one of those moments. Don't let it slip away," Mr Obama said.

Last month, his popularity hit 57 per cent, the highest since 2012, with the White House attributing it at the time to the antipathy of some voters towards Donald Trump, the Republican nominee.

“I think the public appraisal of the president’s character is one that even in the most difficult times has been pretty durable, and I think people are reminded of that when they hear some of the rhetoric that’s uttered by the Republican nominee for president,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said.

The candidates were campaigning late into the night on Monday, the culmination of a rancourous election year that has exposed the country's deep economic and cultural divides.

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