Is it possible that the more people believe that Donald Trump could become our next president giving people a different perspective on Barack Obama?
According to the latest Gallup weekly tracking poll,Â Obama has a 50 percent approval rating, his highest since May 2013.
The presidentâ€™s 50 percent weekly average exceeds the 46 percent heâ€™s averaged through most of his administrationâ€™s seventh year, which ended Jan. 19. It also exceeds the 47 percent average heâ€™s held since taking office in January 2009.
Whatâ€™s improved his numbers?
â€œThe unusual status of the Republican primary race â€“ exemplified in particular by front-runner Donald Trumpâ€™s campaign style and rhetoric â€“ may serve to make Obama look statesmanlike in comparison,â€ Gallup speculates, adding that watching Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton battle to be his successor could also bring out loyalty among Democrats. Democratic support is now nearly nine out of 10 Democrats, up from 81 percent in January.
In a speech in Austin, Texas, Friday, Obama said he wasnâ€™t surprised by Trumpâ€™s ascendance.
â€œHow can you be shocked?â€ the Washington Post reported. â€œThis is the guy, remember, who was sure that I was born in Kenya, who just wouldnâ€™t let it go. And all this same Republican establishment, they werenâ€™t saying nothing.Â As long as it was directed at me, they were fine with it. They thought it was a hoot, wanted to get his endorsement. And then now, suddenly, weâ€™re shocked that thereâ€™s gambling going on in this establishment.â€
Results for this Gallup poll wereÂ based on telephone interviews conducted Feb. 29 to March 6 before the most recent debate in Miami and the clashes between Trumpâ€™s supporters and protesters at a rally in Chicago on Friday night
Obamaâ€™s 50 percent approval ranking is below where Bill Clinton was at this time in his administration, but similar to Ronald Reaganâ€˜s. Itâ€™s much higher than where George W. Bush was in March 2008.
In early March 2000, Clintonâ€™s approval rating was 63 percent. Reagan was 51 percent; while Bush was 32 percent.
The Gallup poll was aÂ sample ofÂ 3,563 adults, aged 18 and older, with the margin of sampling error is Â±2 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.