By: John Zogby Contributor

Our new Zogby Analytics of 1000 likely voters shows President Barack Obama holding on to a majority job approval rating, while 46% disapprove. The new poll was taken online April 17-18 and has a margin of sampling error of +/-3.2 percentage points. See the X-tabs.

During a week that featured a horrible terrorist attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and a Senate defeat for the President of a compromise background check amendment on gun control, the President’s numbers are bolstered by continued strong support from his base and solid support among key swing voters. Despite vocal liberal opposition to some elements of Mr. Obama’s budget proposal calling for some key entitlement cuts, he retains big support among Democrats (87% approval, 12% disapproval), liberals (85%-12%), moderates (59%-39%), men and women (52% men, 53% women), 18-29 year olds (60%-39%), 30-49 year olds (57%-39%), Hispanics (76%-22%), African Americans (83%-12%), Catholics (57%-42%), households with a union member (74%-25%), and self-identified members of the Creative Class (57%-40%), NASCAR fans (52%-46%), Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers (53%-45%), the Investor Class (54%-43%).

The self-identified groups are particularly important because past elections have clearly shown NASCAR fans, Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers, and the Investor Class in the GOP column – and tending to be conservative on many issues.

Approval levels are higher than vote percentages the President received in the last election among Hispanics, Catholics, union households, and men.

Other Zogby poll results are mixed for the President. Still only 36% feel that the U.S. is headed in the right direction, with a majority of 51% saying things are on the wrong track. On the other hand, a majority of 53% to 42% are optimistic about the next four years for the country. Nearly two in five (38%) say that their personal finances will be better off in the next four years compared with 26% who say their finances will be worse off and 29% who say things will be about the same for them.

President Obama’s numbers are bolstered by his strong words of support in the wake of the Boston terrorist attack and the vigorous, coordinated, and successful response to the incident by both police and intelligence agencies.

The President has clearly made mistakes – particularly his failure to personally reach out to key members of Congress on any sustained basis – but these poll numbers reveal that he still he has the potential to spend some political capital.