Obama’s Popularity

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A national poll suggests that President-elect Barack Obama is more popular than ever despite recent speed bumps on the road to his inauguration.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Sunday also indicates that most Americans see Obama’s inauguration as a chance for the nation to come together.

Eighty-four percent of those surveyed say they approve of how Obama is handling the presidential transition. That’s up 2 points from the middle of December and up 5 points from the beginning of December.

The rise in approval also comes after a series of missteps in the Obama transition over the past few weeks: the announcement by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that he was withdrawing from his nomination as commerce secretary after news of a federal grand jury investigation in his home state; the disclosure of Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner’s failure to pay $34,000 in taxes; and pushback by Republicans and even some Democrats to Leon Panetta’s nomination as CIA director.

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