Hayes says while a majority of Americans do support the president's tax position, that's not necessarily why he won the election.
"It's easier to view the election as a reaction to the fact that the economy was growing and that the president was rewarded for that than the fact that he talked about raising rates on upper-income earners," he says.
Obama's take-it-to-the-people approach also differs from that in his first term when he pressed for what became an unpopular spending package aimed at reviving the economy and a sweeping health care overhaul. The measures passed, in large part due to congressional Democratic majorities.
But some say the Democrats lost big in the 2010 mid-term election because Obama didn't bother selling the health care overhaul — a situation he's likely trying to avoid again.
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Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter.