Obama Approval: Can it Help Clinton?

President Obama will address the Democratic convention in a strong position.

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Obama, further, has 86 percent approval from liberals – another group in which Sanders was competitive in the primaries. Indeed, Obama also has 86 percent approval from Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who supported Sanders for the nomination, as well as 93 percent from those who favored Clinton.

Obama also potentially can help Clinton in the political middle, with his 55 percent approval among independents and 62 percent among political moderates.

That said, the president’s ratings are highly polarized, befitting today’s sharp partisanship. He has 88 percent approval from Democrats but just 17 percent from Republicans; just 29 percent among conservatives; and just 45 percent approval among whites, vs. 77 percent among nonwhites (including 89 percent among blacks and 76 percent among Hispanics).

While Obama is underwater among whites, there’s a range there as well – a low of 36 percent approval from white men who don’t have a four-year college degree to a high of 52 percent approval from white women who are college graduates. The latter group is another critical one for Clinton this fall.

In addition to far outstripping George W. Bush’s approval rating in summer 2008, Obama’s also higher than Bush’s 50 percent at about this point in 2004 (when Bush won re-election regardless) and George H.W. Bush’s at this point in summer 1992, when he lost his re-election bid.