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Poll: Obama Has 52% Approval Heading into State of the Union Address

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(Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)

(Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)

Election Returns

WASHINGTON (KMOX/CBS) — As President Barack Obama prepares for the first State of the Union Address of his second term, 52% of Americans now approve of the job he is doing as President, while 38% disapprove.

Mr. Obama’s approval rating has remained fairly constant over the past year, though it rose as high as 57% in December. Only 12% of Republicans approve; 86% of Democrats do. Just under half of independents approve.

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The President gets lower marks on his handling of the economy, a topic that will likely be addressed in his speech. Fewer than half of Americans (45%) approve of how the President is handling the economy, while more (49%) disapprove.

On the other hand, the President enjoys particularly strong support for his handling of terrorism – 57% approve, while 31% disapprove.

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The practice of using unmanned drone aircrafts to attack suspected terrorists in foreign countries – a policy begun by the Bush Administration and expanded under President Obama – enjoys widespread and bipartisan support. Seven in 10 Americans favor using drones to attack suspected terrorists abroad, including most Republicans, Democrats, and independents.

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Americans also support a more controversial measure, although in smaller numbers. 49% of Americans favor the targeting and killing of U.S. citizens living abroad who are suspected of carrying out terrorist activities against the U.S.; 38% oppose that.

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Looking ahead, Americans are not especially optimistic that there will be more cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in the next four years than there was during the President’s first term. Just 17% think there will be more cooperation, 22% say less, and 58% say cooperation will be about the same as it was during the last four years.

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This poll was conducted by telephone from February 6-10, 2013 among 1,148 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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