FOX Poll Shows Obama’s Boost Comes From the Left, Not the Center

The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows President Obama rebounding from 40 percent to 47 percent in his job approval rating among registered voters from last month.

But the reason for the increase is instructive: Obama's spike in support comes from Democrats rallying around him. While his job approval among independents and Republicans is up only a tick, Democratic job approval was up 12 points from 75 percent to 87 percent from last month. Democrats seem to be getting fired up for a fight against the ascendant Republicans and are coming to Obama's defense.

Many pundits have suggested that Obama's bump in the polls reflects perceptions of Obama as a liberal softening as the president makes overture to the center, but while the percent of voters who think him a moderate is up 3 points since October to 32 percent, a plurality still see him as a liberal.

The Obama boost, it seems, is a result of disaffected Democrats who previously groused about Obama's policies - especially on the lack of a government-run insurance program and national security issues - who are now circling the political wagons rather than a shift in the center.

Today's results on health care are instructive on this point too.

Sixty one percent of the respondents want the president's law either repealed or scaled back compared to 34 percent who want to maintain or expand it. Fifty six percent would have voted with House Republicans to repeal it and only 18 percent believe they will benefit personally from the law.

That shows some shift in intensity, but little change in attitudes overall.

There is great political peril for the president in the return of the health care discussion. Opposition has been remarkably consistent and there is no sign that affection is growing. Talking about the law, which many Democrats found inadequate, will not help keep Obama's political recovery popping.

On the Tucson shooting, two things stand out from the poll. First is that people think gun control won't help prevent gun crime and that Republicans are nastier than Democrats.

The first reflects a national trend against gun control, but that only 18 percent think gun control could prevent similar incidents tells you how pro-gun America is today.

The second tells us something about the Republican image problem.

While most people (53 percent) don't think that the political climate has gotten that much worse, and a 40 percent plurality think conservatives were unfairly blamed for the shooting in the press, 61 percent of all respondents said Republicans make unfair attacks that lead to excessive rancor. Only 53 percent said the same about Democrats.

America may think that the media is biased against the right, but Republicans still struggle with the perception that they play rougher than Democrats.

Chris Stirewalt is FOX News' digital politics editor. His political note, Power Play, is available every weekday morning at FOXNEWS.COM.