PunditFact: Are Obama's approval numbers on the rise?

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Are President Barack Obama's poll numbers really on the rebound?

On Sunday, Meet the Press moderator David Gregory shared the results of a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing the president's approval number at 41%. That's low, but not historically so.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer offered a different perspective on the numbers:

"The public polls are a little bit all over the map," said Pfeiffer. "On the same day your poll came out, another poll came out that showed the president gaining six points in the last couple of months. I've looked at a lot of data and let me tell you what we see. There's no question that everyone in Washington, the president included, took a big hit from the double whammy of a shutdown and the problems of healthcare.gov. We have stabilized and we're working out way back. If you look at the aggregate of public polling, we've gained three points in the last couple of months."

The editors at PunditFact decided to check the numbers themselves. The White House pointed them to the website Real Clear Politics, which aggregates data from ten different national polls and calculates an average. It shows that the president's approval rate is low at 42.9%, but it is getting better.

"The headlines that you've seen about Obama's poll results being pretty low are not wrong," said Katie Sanders from PunditFact. "But as low as they are now, they were even lower in December. So, the point Dan Pfeiffer was trying to make is that he's on the rebound. He's doing better."

Real Clear Politics isn't the only website that is aggregating poll numbers. Huffington Post also tracks poll results. Those results show a smaller increase in approval numbers for the president.

Dan Pfeiffer was correct that the president's poll numbers are up slightly over the past few months, but the gains depend on how the numbers are run. Because of that, PunditFact rated his claim "Mostly True."


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