WASHINGTON -- President Obama's approval ratings hit their highest level in months, Gallup Poll says, in the days after the president unexpectedly received the Nobel Peace Prize last Friday.


Obama received a 56 percent job approval rating in the wake of the prize, compared to a "term-low" 50 percent approval rating just last week. Gallup says 53 percent of Americans surveyed said they supported the president in the three days before the Nobel announcement.

Researchers say the spike in support comes "exclusively" from Independents and Republicans, and is not expected to last.  Republican approval of the president shot up from12 percent to 20 percent, and support from Independents jumped from 46 percent to 55 percent over the weekend following the win. The pollsters add that support among Democrats has not changed since the award---with 83 percent of people who say they are members of Obama's party approving of his job performance.

Change in Obama Job Approval Rating, Oct. 3-5 vs. Oct. 9-11, 2009

Gallup notes that the poll represents a positive change for Obama, since support for the president has been stagnant or declining over the past few months. The president's approval ratings have been below 60 percent since mid-July and below 55 percent since early September.

The survey noted: "It is unclear, however, whether Obama will be able to sustain the positive momentum of the past few days, especially after the president's and public's attention turns away from his surprise Nobel Peace Prize win back to the legislative debate over health insurance reform and the administration's decision about what to do next in Afghanistan. Indeed, after Obama's approval ratings increased in Friday and Saturday interviewing, Obama's support in Sunday's polling was slightly lower."

As reported by Raw Story last week, some progressives were relatively restrained in their praise for Obama's selection as the Nobel winner.

Renard Sexton, the international columnist from the progressive blog fivethirtyeight, characterized the win as a "bittersweet moment" for Obama's liberal supporters. "Many have criticized the administration's foreign policy for moving to the center, particularly on war issues, and the Peace Prize designation takes a great deal of air out of that balloon," he wrote.

Gallup pollsters interviewed 1532 Americans over age 18 on cell phones and land lines between October 9th and 11th for the study.