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Obama approval rating at three-year high

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

President Obama is heading into his second Inauguration buoyed by his highest approval ratings in three years, though still far from his January 2009 high when Democrats were predicting they were on the verge of eliminating the GOP.

Gallup has Obama at 52 percent approval, a level he hasn't seen since the beginning of 2010 and John Zogby puts the president at 56 percent approval, his best since October 2009. When he was first inaugurated, he had a 68 percent Gallup approval rating.

The Zogby Analytics poll of 826 likely voters found Obama receiving majority approval ratings from most groups: me, 52 percent; women, 59 percent; Democrats, 91 percent; independents, 55 percent; 18-29 year olds, 68 percent; 30-49 year olds, 60 percent; 50-64 year olds, 53 percent; Hispanics, 65 percent; African Americans, 95 percent.

Moving beyond his base, Zogby told Secrets that president gets a surprising 40 percent approval among evangelical voters, 25 percent among conservatives, and 16 percent among Republicans.

With his positive numbers above 50 percent, it's probably no wonder, said Zogby, that a majority, 53 percent, are optimistic about the future of the country during Obama's second term or that 49 percent want the GOP to "put partisan politics aside and support the agenda of President Obama and the congressional Democrats."