More Americans approve of President Obama’s handling of the economy, boosting his ratings ahead of the annual State of the Union Address, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday. The poll found that 49 percent of Americans approve of the way Obama handled the economy, which is the most who have said they do since his first year in office. Meanwhile, 45 percent of Americans said they’re satisfied with the state of the U.S. economy, the highest number in the poll since January 2004, signaling a more optimistic shift that could help the Democratic Party as it prepares for the 2016 presidential election. Obama’s overall job-approval jumped to 46 percent—his highest rating since October 2013—but still nearly six in 10 respondents said the nation is headed in the wrong direction.
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