Two in three Americans give Obama a thumbs-up

February 4th, 2009 - 12:17 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 3 (IANS) Two weeks into his presidency, a new national poll suggests that nearly two thirds of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama has been doing so far in the White House, but it’s a far cry from his 84 percent rating days before his inauguration.Sxity-four percent of those questioned in a new Gallup/USA Today survey say they approve of how President Obama is handling his job, with 25 percent disapproving and 11 percent unsure.

“A 64 percent rating is fairly high for a presidential approval rating, but it is nothing compared to the 84 percent rating Obama was getting in early January when he was still the president-elect,” said CNN polling director Keating Holland.

Previous presidents have also seen a drop in their approval ratings once they move into the White House. As president-elect, George W. Bush had a 65 percent approval rating before he was inaugurated, but by February of 2001 that had gone down to 57 percent.

Bill Clinton got a 67 percent rating for how he handled his transition, but that number went down to 51 percent by February 1993.

“Honeymoons start to fade the moment a new president puts his hand on the Bible, and Obama is no exception,” Holland said.

Sixty-three percent of those questioned in the poll say they think President Obama is moving about right in addressing the major problems facing the US today, with 22 percent indicating they think Obama’s moving too fast and 10 percent saying he’s not moving fast enough.

Three out of four polled say they want Congress to pass some version of President Obama’s economic stimulus package. But Americans seem to be split on whether the plan should be passed with or without significant changes.

The Gallup/USA Today poll was conducted Jan 30-Feb 1, with 1,027 people questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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