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Posted by on Jan 14, 2009 in Economy, Politics | 3 comments

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll: Americans Strongly Back Obama And His Stimulus Proposals

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that Americans strongly support President Elect Barack Obama — and that a whopping majority of Americans want Republicans to compromise rather than stand on principle and oppose his proposals…a number that includes a huge number of Republicans.

The percentage who approve the way he’s handling the transition: 71 percent — which indicates the bumps along the way have had virtually no impact on the perception of him and the support he enjoys across the nation.

Translated into cold, political terms, it means Obama is coming into office enjoying wide-ranging, bipartisan support and that GOPers who have given signs of getting ready to oppose him in Congress will be on shaky political ground, even within their own party’s rank and file if they stall or significantly dilute what he seeks:

Americans support the economic-stimulus plan being pushed by President-elect Barack Obama but worry the government will spend too much money and widen the budget deficit, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found.

Overall, the poll found strong public backing for the stimulus plan and its major planks, particularly proposals to spend more federal money to create jobs.

As Mr. Obama prepares to take office next week, he enjoys enormous good will and higher approval ratings than his predecessors enjoyed upon entering the White House.

The poll found that the handful of problems Mr. Obama’s transition has encountered have had little, if any, effect on his standing with the public. And even before the Illinois Democrat is sworn in as the nation’s first African-American president, the poll found a large increase in the number of Americans who view race relations positively.

According to the Wall Street Journal, most Americans remain gloomy — some would say “realistic” — about the prospect of 2009 as a year to end the recession. But otherwise the numbers show support for change:

Americans support the economic-stimulus plan being pushed by President-elect Barack Obama but worry the government will spend too much money and widen the budget deficit, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found.

Overall, the poll found strong public backing for the stimulus plan and its major planks, particularly proposals to spend more federal money to create jobs.

As Mr. Obama prepares to take office next week, he enjoys enormous good will and higher approval ratings than his predecessors enjoyed upon entering the White House.

The poll found that the handful of problems Mr. Obama’s transition has encountered have had little, if any, effect on his standing with the public. And even before the Illinois Democrat is sworn in as the nation’s first African-American president, the poll found a large increase in the number of Americans who view race relations positively.

…Less than a week before taking office, Mr. Obama himself also enjoys high ratings, with 71% approving of the way he is handling the transition.

Writes NBC’s Mark Murray:

Despite the Blagojevich mess, the ordeal over whether to seat Burris in the Senate, and Bill Richardson’s withdrawal as Commerce secretary, the American public continues to overwhelmingly approve of Obama’s transition, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll.

This could prove less to be an indication that Obama will be a Teflon President then more a reaction to the tone of his transition: notably centrist and inclusive.

For instance, in the past 24 hours some progressives were upset because he dared to have dinner with conservative commentators. Was he getting ready to sell out? Does this mean he’d throw away all his campaign promises? But then it came out today that he has also met with liberal commentators.

In a sense, the practice of seriously reaching out that he’s showing in his transition goes back to Democratic and Republican presidents who sought to build a wide-ranging coalition to support their policies and to mend fences with their opponents so the debate was about policies and not over personalities and the whipping up of fury and passions. If a politician can build up a reservoir of good will, he or she is more likely to get the benefit of the doubt — and it looks like the public is giving Obama the benefit of the doubt over his transition-era toe stubs of his own and not his own making.

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