Finally something to smile about: Obama's popularity is on the rise as Sarah Palin's takes a tumble

Perhaps Barack Obama should take a holiday in Hawaii more often, as some fun in the sun is doing wonders for his popularity rating.

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll shows the commander in chief has weathered a rough second year in office, and there might be better times ahead.

The survey found that 78 per cent of Democrats believed he should be renominated for a second term, while only 19 per cent - the lowest number since the question was first asked in March - wanted the party to nominate someone else.


Suits me to a tee: U.S. President Barack Obama looks relaxed as he smiles and waves from a golf cart at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua, Hawaii. The recent CNN poll show make him smile even more

And 85 per cent of liberals wanted him renominated for a second term - a surprisingly solid number given that many on the left think he caved too easily and could have gotten a better tax deal.

Mr Obama's high ratings will come as a shot in the arm for the embattled president - who saw the initial euphoria of his election evaporate behind environmental disasters such as the BP oil spil, and political disasters such as his healthcare reforms and the 'shellacking' in the November primaries.

In further good news for the president, the same poll  found that 51 per cent of Republicans were not likely to vote for Sarah Palin if she ran for President in 2012.


Swing back to Obama: The increased popularity, among his own party at least, will come as a shot in the arm for the embattled president

It is a significant turnaround from December in 2008, when only a third of Republicans said they wouldn't vote for her.

Mrs Palin's rating is 10 points worse among Republicans than former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney - and 18 points worse than ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.


Bad news Mama Grizzly: Tea Party darling Sarah Palin's popularity has fallen within the Republican Party

The numbers suggest that, despite her widespread popularity since being picked as John McCain's running mate in 2008, Mrs Palin has lost ground in convincing even Republicans - much less crucial independent swing voters - that she's the right stuff for the White House.

Many senior GOP officials worry that a Palin candidacy would divide the party, making it easier for Mr Obama to win re-election.

Even Republicans firmly in Mrs Palin's corner privately believe she won't end up running in 2012, preferring the lifestyle that has earned her millions of dollars from two books, six-figure speech fees and her reality television show.

While Mrs Palin has a political action committee, drops frequent hints she may run and remains the darling of the Tea Party movement and many conservative Republicans, 'her appeal is quite limited beyond the Republican base', according to a prominent GOP official.

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