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Heading into State of the Union, President’s Job Approval at 45%

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As President Barack Obama makes final preparations for his seventh State of the Union Address, his job approval has bumped up to 45%, up two points from his standing in December. A majority (51%) still disapprove of his job performances. The new poll from Zogby Analytics was conducted 890 likely voters from January 16-18. The online poll has a margin of sampling error of +/-3.4 percentage points.

Mr. Obama is doing better among men (46%-50%) than women (43%-52%). His 54%-40% rating among 18-29 year olds is okay but substantially lower than the 61% support he received from this group in 2012. His support, as is typical, slides with age - 48%-47% among 30-49 year olds, 39%-57% among those 50-64, and 35%-65% among those 65 and older.

His 83%-16% rating among Democrats is healthy but he has much work to do among independents: only 34% give him a positive rating vs. 57% who disapprove. He has solidified his liberal base (87%-13%) but he is now under 50% among moderates (49%-46%). His support among college graduates is 49%-49% -- nowhere near his support levels when he won both times.

White voters stay in the mid-thirties (36%-61%), while his approval is 65%-29% among Hispanics and is 80%-16% among African Americans. Catholic support is down to 44%-54% (it is usually over 50%). He is strong in union households (61%-34%) but is down among NASCAR Fans (48%-47%), voters with passports (48%-49%), the Investor Class (47%-52%), and Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers (46%-51%). He is also down among voters in homes where there is an active duty military or veteran (48%-49%) and LGBT voters (59%-39%) - as well as among the Creative Class (53%-46%).

Only 27% of voters feel that the United States is headed in the right direction, while 57% think things "are off on the wrong track."

A 45% approval rating is borderline acceptable, however, no matter which way you look at it, the President is doing much better than Congress which receives only a 20% approval and a 74% disapproval. The Democrats in Congress get a 33% rating and the Republicans are 27%.

Following a huge wave victory in November, the GOP is finding that voter love had very little to do with it. At the same time, the President's more aggressive stance on immigration, the environment, Cuba, and the middle class appears to be paying off for him.

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