There's considerable data to suggest that presidential elections can be predicted on the basis of what people think of the previous incumbent in the year leading up to the vote. Here's a slightly dated Nate Cohn discussion of this from last year.
And here's the PEC's current chart of the history of the ratio between President Obama's approval and disapproval:
Gallup's daily job approval numbers show a similar trend. The Prez is climbing.
Why is hard to know. The economy isn't making most of us feel safe and prosperous, but objectively it is as good as at any time in this presidency.
And the guy is stepping out on a lot of fronts in his last year, from trying to curb greenhouse gases by executive action, to protecting natural areas by declaring National Monuments, to trolling Donald Trump while having a drink with the Canadian Prime Minister.
This may seem a low bar to jump, but we don't have to be ashamed of how Obama represents the country to the rest of the world. Even those of us who think he's been complicit in the war crimes initiated by his predecessors can't deny that he's been a relatively restrained captain of the imperial colossus. (Do take the time to read The Obama Doctrine at the Atlantic.) We're not going to see his like again.
And our relative satisfaction suggests we'll elect a Democrat in November. We can't be complacent; state by state, there will be much work to do. But we can live in rational hope through the next nine moments of noise, anxiety, and general bullshit.