Barack Obama's Gallup approval rating ticked up to 50% today. It's the third time he's reached that mark over the last couple months, but both times previously he fell below 50% the next day; he hasn't had consecutive days at or above 50% since late February. In fact, there's a clear break: through the reading ending February 28 he was at or above 50% all but four days beginning with the November 7-9 survey; after that, 50% has been the peak.
What's fun to look at, at least for me, is that he's still closely tracking George W. Bush's approval ratings. Of course, that wasn't the case in the first three years of Obama's presidency. In the first several months he was more popular than Bush; after September 11, he of course fell far behind Bush's record performance.
But Obama caught Bush in spring 2012 (vs. spring 2004), and ever since they've been within a few points of each other. And so the most recent Bush 2005 poll, April 4-7, has him at...50% approval. Uncanny!
At this point, however, Bush was fading. He managed to spike up again to 50% for May 2-5, but that was the last time he would reach that point. Still, he was in the highish 40s (in other words, where Obama has been for the last six weeks) all the way to mid-July. So unless Obama moves sharply one way or another, they'll still be pretty close for a while.
No real larger point here. The two of them, Bush and Obama, were the least popular presidents re-elected after a full term during the polling era, and that's still true now, five months after the election. Not for long, though; Nixon is about to dive down below both of them.