Obama gets big thumbs up; stimulus less popular

February 10th, 2009 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 10 (IANS) Between 64 and 76 percent Americans approve of the job Barack Obama’s doing as president, but the economic stimulus package he’s trying to push through Congress is not nearly as popular, three new opinion polls suggest.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday said 76 percent of those questioned give Obama a thumbs-up when it comes to the way he’s performing his duties, with 23 percent disapproving of the way he is handling his job as president.

But only a slight majority, 54 percent, favour Obama’s more than $800 billion plan to jumpstart the economy, with 45 percent opposed to it. A Gallup Poll, on the other hand, suggested a strong 67 percent approval rating for the way in which Obama is handling the government’s efforts to pass the stimulus bill, while the Democrats and, in particular, the Republicans in Congress receive much lower approval ratings of 48 percent and 31 percent respectively.

Recent Gallup polling also shows that a slight majority of Americans in general favour the idea of passing a stimulus plan of around $800 billion, a sentiment that has stayed constant over the last several weeks.

A third poll by Pew Research shows that just 51 percent of those surveyed say the over $800 billion stimulus package winding its way through Congress is a “good idea”, down six points from last month. Those who consider the stimulus a “bad idea” increased to 34 percent in the current survey from 22 percent last month.

Obama himself continues to enjoy high ratings from the public, according to the Pew poll. Sixty-four percent approve of the job he’s doing as president, only 17 percent disapprove and 19 percent are undecided.

In other ratings, 92 percent say he is a “good communicator”, 81 percent believe he “cares about people like me”, 79 percent call him “well informed”, 77 percent believe he is a “strong leader”, 76 percent find him “trustworthy”, and 70 percent believe he will be able to “get things done”. Sixty-six percent say Obama offers “a new approach to politics in Washington”, while 25 percent see him as conducting “business as usual”.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing, while 34 percent approve. Democrats in Congress fare much better, with 48 percent approving of the job they are doing and 38 percent disapproving.

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