President Carter's standing has risen to 50 to 48 per cent positive, according to a recent Harris Survey of 1,200 adults nationwide. In November, Carter hit a low point of 52 to 46 per cent negative in his overall job rating.
The reason for the President's limited comeback is not hard to find:
By 63 to 29 per cent, a substantial majority gives him positive marks on "his working for a peace settlement in the Middle East between the Arabs and Israel." Only a month ago, the public was 48 to 44 percent negative on his Middle East efforts. There is no doubt that the visit of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt to Israel has greatly enhanced President Carter's standing in the United States.
On other key dimensions, President Carter is still given negative ratings by the public:
By 61 to 34 per cent, a majority gives him negative marks on his handling of the economy. This is only marginally better than the 63 to 33 percent negative rating he received in November.
By 55 to 38 per cent, Carter continues to have about the same negative rating on his handling of relations with Congress as he had in November.
By 52 to 40 per cent, a majority is negative on the way he is handling his overall energy program. This is only slightly better than the 55 to 37 per cent negative rating he received in October.
By 48 to 42 per cent, Carter is given a negative assessment on his handling of foreign policy, just four points higher than in November.
In another significant area, besides his handling of Middle East peace negotiations, Carter has scored a significant increase in his standing:
By 55 to 39 per cent, he is now given positive marks on "inspiring confidence in the White House." This continues the upward trend from the 49 to 46 per cent negative rating given him in October.