President Obama’s victory last week over Republicans on the payroll tax cut was a Christmas gift that keeps on giving.

Buoyed by his successful battle to avoid taking more money out of the payckecks of some 160 million Americans, the President’s approval rating topped his disapproval rating in a Gallup poll for the first time since July.

Some 47% of those polled approved of the job Obama was doing, up 5 percentage points since mid-December, when the President’s showdown with Republicans over extending the Social Security payroll tax cut was heating up. His disapproval rating in that poll was 45%.