"That two-point difference is well within the poll's sampling error, so it is a mistake to characterize it as a gain for the president," says CNN polling director Keating Holland. "Nonetheless, an approval rating that has not dropped and remains over 50 percent will probably be taken as good news by Democrats after the events of the last week."
For those of you blissfully unaware, those events are the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, last September (where US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed); the IRS badgering of tea party and other conservative organizations; and the Justice Department snooping into the telephone records of Associated Press journalists as part of a crackdown on national security leaks.
(We would add to that trio a fourth item reported in recent days: losing track of a couple of terrorists in the federal witness protection program.)
Gallup’s latest numbers track closely with CNN’s – a slight improvement for Obama to 51-to-42 approve/disapprove.