CNN/ ORC Poll: Three Quarters Support Obama And Half Support Stimulus
A new CNN/ORC poll finds three-quarters of Americans support President Barack Obama, a bit more than half support the stimulus plan, most Americans feel Obama is reaching out to Congress and Republicans — and that GOPers have made gains in their ratings since they’ve taken on Obama.
This poll perhaps more than any other poll could explain Obama’s return to campaign mode. His honeymoon continues, most people (who don’t listen to Rush and Sean) like what they see, but his relatively laid-back approach to criticism of the stimulus plan confirmed what savvy politicians have come to understand in the past two decades: charges that are not effectively answered or countered will take hold. A President must use his clout and all the tools of persuasion that he has (just as Republican Ronald Reagan did quite forcefully when he became President to garner support).
Here are some details from the poll. First the big numbers:
–Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president? Approve 76%, Disapprove 23%. No opinion 1%.
–He has other high marks. Providing strong leadership 80%; handling foreign policy 76%, handling the economy (the BIGGIE) 72%, handling terrorism policy 68%, choosing his cabinet (which was marked by toe-stubbing) 61%.
–Poll shows a very slight improvement from the South Pole numbers Congress has on how it’s doing its job from polling in the fall.
–Democratic leaders have seen an increase in their job rating. 60% now approve of the way they’re doing their jobs, versus 47% in early November.
–Republicans have seen a bigger increase in their job approval rating. 44% now versus 24% in early November.
What does all of this likely mean?
1. Obama enjoys much more clout with the public right now than Congress. If he does take to the hustings and goes into the same kind of campaign mode Reagan went in to get the support to enact his changes, it could have impact.
2. Republicans are more pleased by their leadership in Congress than Democrats. In a sense, the GOP in Life After Bush is now resembling one big happy family since Rush Limbaugh, Congressional leaders and many of the party’s hard core base are now on the same page.
3. Democrats are less enamored of their party’s leadership. The common complaint now among progressives (formerly known as liberals) is that what good is a Democratic victory if the Democrats have to (in their view) give away the store and control of part of the store to Republicans?
4. Danger for the GOP: the party now seems more isolated than ever, a kind of niche product that seems to be unable to broaden its market and doesn’t seem inclined to do so.