If President Obama plans to run against the Supreme Court this fall, he may have some catching up to do. A Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday shows the high court's popularity has shot up since its three days of hearings, March 26-28, on the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation the President promoted and signed in 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
A survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on April 6-7 showed that 41 percent rate the Supreme Court's job performance as "good" or "excellent," up from 13 points from a record low of 28 percent in mid-March. A Rasmussen presidential tracking poll, also released on Monday, showed 23 percent "Strongly Approve" of Obama's job performance, while 40 percent "Strongly Disapprove" giving the incumbent a Presidential Approval Index rating of 17, according to Rasmussen. The same survey, however, shows Obama winning in hypothetical fall election matchups against the leading Republican contenders, narrowly prevailing against former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 46 to 44 percent, though that two-point edge is well within the statistical margin of error. Obama does somewhat better in polling against Rick Santorum, leading the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, 47 to 41 percent.
The court's surge in favorability follows the highly publicized hearings in which the conservative majority — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, along with Anthony Kennedy, who is sometimes a swing vote — demonstrated by their line of questioning during the hearings that they held strong doubts as to the constitutionality of the provision of the health reform bill that requires individuals not otherwise covered to purchase health insurance.
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Photo: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts