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Posted by on Feb 11, 2009 in Economy | 1 comment

Gallup Poll: Obama’s Campaign For Stimulus Increased Its Support

A Gallup Poll finds that President Barack Obama’s use of the “bully pulpit” of the Presidency in the 21st century — speeches carried on news shows, photo ops and a major prime time press conference — notably increased support for his economic stimulus plan.

Most interestingly, his efforts shored up Democratic party support, had little impact on divided independents — but helped him regain some lost Republican support (further proof that not all Republicans follow the lead of Rush Limbaugh):

Public support for an $800 billion economic stimulus package has increased to 59% in a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Tuesday night, up from 52% in Gallup polling a week ago, as well as in late January.

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You can rest assured that Team Obama — in particular, Obama himself — will draw lessons from this polling:

Most of the newfound support comes from rank-and-file Democrats, suggesting President Barack Obama’s efforts to sell the plan over the past week — including in his first televised news conference on Monday — have shored up support within his own party. Last week, Gallup found 70% of Democrats in favor of Congress passing the economic stimulus package, but today that figure is 82%.

Over the same period, support for the stimulus package held steady among independents, with a slight majority in favor of it. The percentage of Republicans favoring the package rose slightly from 24% to 28%, but remains below the 34% support received in early January, before Congress began its formal consideration of the package.

Here’s a graphic on the support for the stimulus according to party ID:

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What does this mean?

1. Obama was able to get cohesive support from Democrats.
2. Independents remained split but is still a group that he can appeal to and have a good prospect of convincing.
3. He can peel away a certain number of Republicans.
4. If there is a major issue he needs to get out on the hustings and use all communications skills he can because he can make a difference.
5. Criticism of his press conference — calling him windy, too pessimistic, etc. — is apparently not how it played in terms of political support. If not used excessively, formal press conferences can increase his clout with voters and Congress.