An increasingly common refrain following President Obama's successes in the Supreme Court and at the Capitol last week was that it was the best week of his presidency. Our own Chris Cillizza made that case last Friday -- practically before the ink was even dry on the court's gay marriage opinion -- given that Obama also passed new trade legislation and saw his principal legacy item (Obamacare) survive a fierce challenge.
If you're only looking at poll numbers, though, last week was a few light years from his best.
Gallup has tracked Obama's weekly job approval since he was elected, breaking the numbers down by all sorts of demographic and geographic groups. We've pointed to this data in the past to gauge how those groups feel about the job that Obama is doing.
We can also compare the weekly change in Obama's approval rating to try and answer the question posed at the outset: What was Obama's best week, poll-wise?
The answer probably won't surprise you, once you think about it. The week that Obama saw the biggest jump in his overall approval was between May 2 and May 8, 2011. That's also known as "The Week We Got Bin Laden." His approval among all voters jumped seven points.
That week, Obama saw his all-time biggest jump among Republicans (+11), men (+7), young people (+13), whites (+7), and moderates (+9 among Dems and +13 among Republicans).
By comparison, his approval between June 22 and June 28 of this year went up only two points, which it has done 25 times since he became president.
It wasn't even the biggest jump he's seen in his second term. That jump came in the week between Feb. 17 and Feb. 23, 2014 -- perhaps because of the revolution in Ukraine. The only group for which last week saw the biggest approval jump in Obama's second term was among those who never go to church. Approval among that (small, volatile) group went up six points -- as it had during two other weeks since January 2013.
This begs the question: What was the worst week of Obama's presidency? On five different occasions, his approval sank four points in a week, including two weeks between the 2012 election and his second inauguration. The last week in 2012, eight different groups saw record drops in approval, including independents (-7), those aged 30 to 49 (-8), white voters (-7), and moderate Republicans (-11).
Some other highs and lows:
|Group||Best week||Worst week|
|Democrats||Oct. 24-30, 2011, +8||Dec. 31, 2012 - Jan. 6, 2013, -6|
|Republicans||May 2-8, 2011, +11||Mar. 2-8, 2009, -8|
|Independents||Mar. 17-23, 2014, +9||Dec. 24-30, 2012, -7 (and one other week)|
|Liberals||Dec. 20-26, 2010, +11||May 20-26, 2013, -7 (and one other)|
|Blacks||Mar. 31 - April 6, 2014, +11 (and one other)||Feb. 16-22, 2015, -10 (and three others)|
|Hispanics||Oct. 9-15, 2010, +14||Dec. 26, 2011 - Jan. 1, 2012, -14|
|65 and older||Jan. 21-27, 2013, +9 (and one other)||Dec. 9-15, 2013, -8 (and two others)|
|College graduates||Dec. 15-21, 2014, +9 (and two others)||Nov. 11-17, 2013, -10|
Among conservative Republicans, the biggest drop in approval was a 10-point plunge -- the first week of Obama's presidency.
During a press availability on Tuesday, Obama was asked what he thought of last week being his best week.
His response was sort of cheating.