Gallup cannot determine if life really got better for everyone under President Obama. Yes, Obama has a decent approval rating, but nearly 70% of voters believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Obama does get the credit he deserves, but his presidency has not necessarily improved the lives of everyone. Gallup's position on this issue is still subjective.
I do believe that President Barack Obama deserves the credit that he receives. Although a surprisingly number of his policies tended towards greater Government powers he also enacted several bills and set the ball rolling on several projects which have a beneficial effect for the US population who have cause to use these services.
There are many factors that have improved during the Obama presidency, such as employment, the stock market and health care. Obama does not receive the credit currently but perhaps his legacy will gain as history reflects on his accomplishments. The current political climate is harsh and Obama has taken criticism for pushing ahead for change.
To the extent Obama is popular, it is due to his extraordinary spending of money the U.S. does not have. Obama entered the W.H. with a national debt of $10.6 trillion. By the time he leaves office that number will be doubled.
Give me a legal printing press and I can go to the bar, buy drinks for everyone and everyone will be happy until the hangover occurs. The hangover in the case is our national debt that will be inherited by our children and grandchildren. So yes, folks are thriving on borrowed money to pay benefits we can't afford and stimulate the economy with money we don't have. The policy is both financially and morally bankrupt, but most Americans' don't know much about deficits and fewer care.