The slight majority of Americans, 54%, now approve of Obama’s handling of the negotiations, up from 48% a week ago. This coincides with a slight increase in Obama’s overall job approval rating in Gallup Daily tracking, to 56% Dec. 17-19 from 50% Dec. 14-16. That increase may at least partly reflect Americans’ response to Obama’s actions in the aftermath of the tragic Newtown, Conn., school shootings Dec. 14, combined with his ongoing efforts in regard to the fiscal cliff.

At the same time, public approval of congressional Democratic leaders’ performance in the budget negotiations rose 11 percentage points to 45%, while Reid’s approval rating rose 10 points to 34%. There has been no significant change in ratings of Republican leaders generally, or of Republican House Speaker John Boehner specifically.