According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, 58 percent of Americans approve of President Obama’s job performance — his highest approval rating in this poll since 2009.
These numbers, which are somewhat higher than recent polls from other sources, spell good news for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and not-so-good news for Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Historically, a high approval rating for the sitting president translates into more votes for the president’s party — Obama has been averaging an approval rating above 50 percent since the beginning of August — while a low approval rating will usually correlate with a loss.
If that turns out to be the case this year, Clinton could easily win the general election.
That wasn’t the only positive thing to come out of the poll for Clinton. According to the Washington Post, the poll also showed that there’s a strong correlation between how people feel about Obama and how they feel about Clinton, which could also be an indicator of how she will fare in the general election:
86 percent of registered voters who strongly approve of Obama’s job performance back Clinton; more than half of those who approve of his performance somewhat plan to back the Democrat in November. Among those who strongly disapprove of Obama, 80 percent plan to back Trump. But even 6 percent of that group is leaning toward Clinton. (Only 1 percent of those who strongly approve of Obama plan to back Trump.)
So while it isn’t impossible for Trump to overcome these odds and win the presidency, history and polling data aren’t on his side.