Let's get one thing out of the way quickly: It never mattered all that much, really, whether President Obama's approval rating, as measured by Gallup, was a percentage point or two below 50 percent. From a statistical perspective, in fact, it was impossible to say for sure that his rating had changed at all -- the swing was within the margin of error.
But Obama's numbers did fall below that magic 50 percent threshold, and that is important in some ways. It's symbolic, for one thing, and it could make Congressional Democrats shy away from him a bit.
Obama can rest a bit easier now, though, and so can anyone who'd started to feel shaky about supporting him on the basis of his numbers. The latest Gallup survey has him back above the 50 percent mark, with 51 percent of respondents now saying they approve of the job he's doing. It took him just 10 days to get back to positive territory.