The White House announced Friday that the president has won reelection with a big margin over his Republican challenger, Rep. Joe Heck, and is now the nation’s most popular sitting president.
The new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, conducted for ABC News and the Associated Press, found that President Obama had a 49 percent approval rating, up from 43 percent on Thursday.
Democrats have long been skeptical of the president, particularly in the wake of his handling of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a string of mass shootings.
Heck has been critical of Obama’s handling of domestic and international issues, and he has called him a liar and a fraud.
The survey found that 61 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Heck.
The poll was conducted after news outlets reported that Heck had raised more than $200,000 in donations over the past month.
The president also won support from independents, 56 percent to 35 percent.
That was well ahead of the 39 percent of voters who said they had an unfavorable opinion of the incumbent, with 44 percent saying they were still undecided.
Heck won the support of the vast majority of Democrats and independents.
Republicans have long seen Heck as a candidate of the Tea Party and a threat to their political fortunes.
But his popularity among the GOP base and among women has helped him in a state where Republicans have consistently had the edge in elections.
Heck was endorsed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was the 2008 GOP nominee.
McCain said in a statement that Heck was a strong supporter of President Obama and the U.S. “and I look forward to working with him to keep Americans safe.”
He also said he was grateful to the president for his continued support.
“The president has been one of the best to serve our country,” McCain said.
“We owe him an open mind, a firm hand, and the full confidence of his office to do the right thing on this important issue.”
Heck, who has also been criticized for spending millions of dollars on television advertisements to oppose the president and defend himself, won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, which has spent millions on anti-Obama ads.
His campaign had said it would spend at least $10 million on the election, which took place in Nevada and Arizona.
Heck’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Kaiser poll surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide between March 7 and 9.
It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.