Posted Feb 27, 2009 at 1:04 AM by Maurice Berger
White President Obama continues to enjoy high approval on his handling of the economy and other problems facing the nation, the Republicans fare very poorly. A new ABC News/Washington Post Poll Reports that the Democratic Party leads the Republicans by 56-30 percent in trust to
handle the country's main problems. "That has slightly improved from
56-23 percent in December, as congressional Republicans found a unified
voice in opposition to the stimulus. But the December number was the
Republicans' worst in ABC/Post polls since 1982; they still have far to
climb."Additionally, the Democrats hold the edge in partisan affiliation: 36% in the poll identified themselves
as Democrats, just 24% as Republicans. On average in 2003, by
contrast, the parties were at parity, 31 percent apiece."
Posted Feb 26, 2009 at 1:18 AM by Maurice Berger
A USA Today/Gallup poll reports that Americans have mixed feelings about what the stimulus package should support: "The Obama
administration and other advocates have argued that the massive
government spending on these programs is necessary to keep a bad
economic situation from getting far worse. Critics have found fault
with the amounts of money involved and the long-term impact or the lack
thereof. And the American public? A review and analysis of recent polling
assessing the various government initiatives makes it possible to
summarize American public opinion as follows: 1) Americans are
generally behind the $787 billion stimulus plan (officially known as
the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act"), signed into law on Feb.
17, although with significant reservations; 2) Americans are solidly in
favor of aid to homeowners facing foreclosure; 3) Americans are solidly
against giving further aid to the auto companies; and 4) Americans are
generally against the idea of providing further aid to ailing banks
(although support for an actual government takeover of failing banks is
fluid and depends on how such a process is described)."
Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 1:20 AM by Maurice Berger
According to ABC News, President Obama's relatively high approval rating--on average now around 62%--is impressive but not unusual for a new administration: "There are a couple of data points worth keeping in mind as we await
President Obama’s address to the nation tonight - and as we digest an
aide's claim today, as Jake Tapper reports, that his strong approval
rating is earned." One, while his rating is high, it’s also dead average for a new president. The other is the impressive partisanship beneath it. We have approval ratings for each of the last nine elected
presidents after their first month in office, back to Dwight
Eisenhower. (We’re leaving Johnson and Ford aside.) There’s been a
healthy range, from a low of 55 percent for George W. Bush after the
disputed election of 2000 to a high of 76 percent for his father 12
years earlier. (I’m using ABC/Post polls since Reagan, Gallup
previously). But the average? Sixty-seven percent. And Obama’s? Sixty-eight percent, as we reported in our new poll yesterday. His initial rating, then, is strong – but it’s also generally typical for a new guy." PollTrack cuations that any poll--even the most accurate--is just a snapshot in term. Events on the ground can change public perceptions about a political leader in an instant (George W. Bush's gargantuan jump in public approval after 9/11 is a case in point).
Posted Feb 24, 2009 at 1:56 AM by Maurice Berger
A majority pf American adults--55%--believe the "federal government would be
rewarding bad behavior by providing mortgage subsidies to financially troubled
homeowners." Among investors, 65% hold that view. A new poll reports that among all adults, just 32% disagree.
77% of Republicans and 60% of those not affiliated
with either major political party believe the mortgage help subsidizes bad
behavior. Most Democrats--51%--disagree.
Posted Feb 23, 2009 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger
Americans are growing increasingly gloomy about the economic crisis and their ability to weather it: "The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures consumer
confidence on a daily basis, fell two points on Monday to 55.5. That’s the
lowest level of confidence ever recorded in the seven-year history of the
Consumer Index, and the fourth time a new low has been set this month.The Rasmussen Investor Index fell nearly four points on
Monday to 56.9, also a record low. For the Investor Index, the previous low had
been established in mid-December.
The drop for both has been fairly significant. The Consumer
Index has fallen eight points over the past month and 39 points over the past
year. The Investor Index has fallen nine points over the past month and 45
points over the past year."
Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger
A Pew Research Center poll reports that most Americans trust President Obama on the issue of terrorism: "Most Americans say his administration’s policies will reduce the likelihood of
another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public
remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of
terrorism. Americans approve of Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism by more than
two-to-one (50% approve vs. 21% disapprove), while 29% offer no opinion. Yet
opinion is much more closely divided over Obama’s decision to close the U.S.
military prison at Guantanamo Bay in the next year. Fewer than half (46%)
approve of the decision while 39% disapprove."
Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 1:15 AM by Maurice Berger
The American public now rejects the idea that the stimulus package was a partisan effort: 60% of U.S. voters according to a new poll say the economic stimulus plan "is mostly what Democrats want rather than a truly
bipartisan product." 25% think the plan is a bipartisan effort; 15% are not sure. "80% of Republicans say the stimulus is
mostly a Democratic plan, while Democrats themselves are evenly divided on the
question. 62% of unaffiliated voters say it’s mostly what
Democrats want, while 22% characterize the plan as bipartisan."
Posted Feb 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM by Maurice Berger
A majority of Americans now support direct diplomacy with Iran, a policy that would represent a dramatic reversal from the Bush Administration. According to a new Gallup Poll, Americans appear to support the Obama administration's push for
"face-to-face" dialogue with Iran: 56% say the United States should
engage in direct diplomacy with Iran, while 38% say it should not. Gallup observes: Certain subgroups of the U.S. population are more ready than others to
support forging ahead with direct diplomacy with Iran. At 74%, those
with post-graduate educations are the most likely to favor this
approach. Moderates, Democrats, liberals, college graduates, and
middle-aged Americans also express solid support at or just below
two-thirds. Interestingly, younger Americans are the most resistant to direct
diplomacy with Iran, with 38% in favor and 56% opposed. Keeping them
company among the most cautious constituencies are conservatives,
Republicans, and the less educated, though it is worth noting that
levels of support among these groups still hover at or near 50%."
Posted Feb 17, 2009 at 1:39 AM by Maurice Berger
Americans continue to remain circumspect about the stimulus packaged signed into law by President Obama. 38% of voters now believe the $787-billion stimulus will help the economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone
survey. 29% believe the plan will hurt and 24% believe it
will have little impact. Middle-income Americans are more likely to believe the bill
will hurt rather than help. Those with incomes below $40,000 or above
$100,000 are more optimistic.
Posted Feb 16, 2009 at 1:53 AM by Maurice Berger
When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, a new Rasmussen survey reports, 67% of U.S.
voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average
member of Congress. 19% trust members of Congress more, 14% aren’t sure.President Obama only does marginally better: 49% of U.S. voters trust their own judgment more than his when it comes to the economic issues affecting the nation. 39% trust the president more. 12% are not sure
whose judgment is better.
Posted Feb 13, 2009 at 1:50 AM by Maurice Berger
A new Rasmussen survey suggests possible political storm clouds for Democrats on the question of how well they can manage the economy: "Democrats are still trusted more than Republicans to handle
the economy by a 44% to 39% margin, but their advantage on the issue has been
slipping steadily since November; 17% are not sure which party they trust more to handle the
economy. In the first poll conducted after Barack Obama was elected
president, the Democrats held a 15-point lead over the GOP on economic issues.
In December, their lead dropped to 12 points. In January, prior to Obama’s
inauguration, Democrats held a nine-point lead on the issue."
Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 2:11 AM by Maurice Berger
Following Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s presentation of the White House
financial rescue plan, the "Rasmussen Consumer Index fell a point-and-a-half to
56.6. That’s another all-time record low, surpassing the mark set ten days ago.
During 2008, record lows for consumer confidence were recorded on a regular
basis. The Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers
on a daily basis, is down three points from a week ago and two points from a
Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM by Maurice Berger
A new USA Today/Gallup poll reports a decided uptick in support for the economic stimulus package now working its way through congress: "Public support for an $800 billion economic stimulus package has increased to 59% in the poll conducted Tuesday night, up from 52% in Gallup polling a week ago, as well as in late January. 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. 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."
Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 7:34 AM by Maurice Berger
President Obama's Monday-night primtime news conference commanded relatively high ratings. According to Nielsen, "The conference was telecast live from 8 to 9PM on 8 networks
achieving a combined 30.8 household rating with 49,455,133 viewers. The
networks were ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, CNN, Fox News Channel and
MSNBC. Just weeks after his inauguration in 1993 President Bill Clinton
also held a prime time news conference. That event focused on the
economy and was carried by 4 networks on February 15, 1993. The sum of
the audience of those networks was a 42.1 household rating with
64,300,000 viewers on average. On October 11, 2001, exactly a month after the attacks of September
11, President Bush held a prime time news conference that was carried
by 7 networks. The sum of those networks’ audience from approximately
8-8:45PM was a 42.0 household rating with 64,813,000 viewers."
Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 2:36 AM by Maurice Berger
In an ominous sign for the Democrats, public displeasure with Congress seems to be translating into much decreased support for Democratic legislators. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone surveys found
that in the generic congressional balllot, the Democrats’ lead is down to just one percentage point. Forty percent
(40%) of voters said they would vote for their district’s Democratic candidate
while 39% said they would choose the Republican. "This marks the lowest level of support for the Democrats in
tracking history," Rasmussen reports, "and is the closest the two parties have been on the generic
Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 1:32 AM by Maurice Berger
While President Obama continues to enjoy healthy--if somewaht diminished approval numbers--Congress does not do half as well. A new poll suggests that the American public has little confidence in its elected delegates to the US Congress: "The Senate is scheduled to vote today on an $838-billion
economic stimulus plan, but 58% of U.S. voters say most members of congress will not understand what is in the plan before they vote on
it . . . just 24% believe most of Congress will understand the contents of the
700-page-plus plan before they vote.19% are not sure. Two-thirds of the nation’s voters (69%) lack confidence that
Congress knows what it is doing when it comes to addressing the country’s
current economic problems. Just 29% are even somewhat confident in the
Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 3:24 AM by Maurice Berger
According to a new poll, voters want the stimulus plan making its way through Congress to
include more tax cuts and less government spending: "Just 14% would like to move in the opposite direction with
more government spending and fewer tax cuts . . . 20% would be happy to pass
it pretty much as is, and 5% are not sure. Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly want to
see more tax cuts and less government spending. Democrats are more evenly
divided: 42% agree with the Republicans, 32% want to pass the plan as is, and
22% would like to see more government spending and fewer tax cuts."
Posted Feb 09, 2009 at 3:52 AM by Maurice Berger
According to a new Gallup poll, the American public gives President Obama a strong 67% approval rating
for the way in which he is handling the government's efforts to pass an economic
stimulus bill, while the Democrats and, in particular, the Republicans in
Congress receive much lower approval ratings of 48% and 31%, respectively.
Posted Feb 09, 2009 at 2:15 AM by Maurice Berger
According to a new Rasmussen poll, Americans are almost evenly divided on whether the failure to pass the economic recovery bill working its way through Congress would be a "catastrophe" for the American economy. The survey finds that
44% of Americans agree with Obama and 41% do not. "There is a huge partisan divide on the question. Sixty-nine
percent 69% of Democrats agree with the president's insistence that failure to
pass a bill now means catastrophe, while 64% of Republicans do not. Among voters
not affiliated with either major party, 32% say Obama's right, but 51% don't
Posted Feb 06, 2009 at 12:44 AM by Maurice Berger
The "L-Word"--Liberal--may be more popular now than at any time since since Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency in 1980. According to a new poll, "71% of American voters now view
President Obama as politically liberal, including 42% who say he is Very
Liberal. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 23%
see him as politically moderate and just 2% see him as somewhat or very
conservative. The number seeing Obama as politically liberal is up six
points over the past month and is also the highest yet recorded. When he first
wrapped up the Democratic Presidential nomination, 61% of American voters viewed
Obama as politically liberal. On the eve of his election, 66% held that view." Given the president's relative high approval rating, it does not look like the laberal label is a problem for him.
Posted Feb 05, 2009 at 2:08 AM by Maurice Berger
In a sign of growing voter concern and pessimism over the economy, a new Rasmussen survey reports that "50% of U.S. voters say the final economic
recovery plan that emerges from Congress is at least somewhat likely to make
things worse rather than better, but 39% say such an outcome is not likely. 27% say the final legislation is Very
Likely to make things worse, while just 7% say it’s Not at All
Likely to have that effect." Right now voters seem prepared to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt: "Part of this concern is a natural reflection of voter skepticism about the
legislative process. Many Americans simply accept the notion that no matter how
bad things are, Congress could make them worse."
Posted Feb 04, 2009 at 2:07 AM by Maurice Berger
According to Gallup, an average of 36% of Americans identified themselves as Democrats and 28% as
Republicans in 2008. That eight-point advantage is the largest for the
Democratic Party since Gallup began regularly conducting its polls by telephone
in 1988. Gallup notes: "The year-by-year trend shows that Democrats have gained ground against
Republicans in each of the last five years, going from a deficit of two points
in 2003 to the most recent eight-point advantage. Additionally, the 36% of Americans who identified as Democrats last year
matches the high point in Democratic identification since 1988, when it was also
36%. But since fewer Americans identified as Republicans last year (28%) than in
1988 (31%), the Democratic advantage was larger in 2008."
Posted Feb 03, 2009 at 8:25 AM by Maurice Berger
While a plurality of voters see Barack Obama's governing style as bipartisan, they are not so sure about the US Congress: "42% of U.S. voters say President Obama is governing on a bipartisan basis while 39% say he is
governing as a partisan Democrat . . . [Yet] most voters believe congressmen from both major political parties are
acting in a far more partisan manner than the president. 58% say congressional Democrats are
governing in a partisan fashion, and 52% say the same about Republicans in
Congress. Just 22% say members of both parties are acting on a bipartisan basis. Overall, 40% expect politics in Washington to become more
partisan over the next year while 40% expect it to become more cooperative.>
Posted Feb 03, 2009 at 1:35 AM by Maurice Berger
An analysis of more than 350,000 interviews conducted by the Gallup organization in 2008 reports that Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas are the most religious states in the nation; Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and
Massachusetts are the least religious states: "The large data set of interviews conducted as part of the Gallup Poll Daily
tracking program in 2008 provides uniquely reliable estimates of state-level
characteristics. Each sample of state residents was weighted by demographic
characteristics to ensure it is representative of the state's population. There are a number of ways to measure the relative religiosity of population
segments. For the current ranking, Gallup uses the responses to a
straightforward question that asks: "Is religion an important part of your daily
life?" The rankings are based on the percentage of each state's adult (18 and
older) population that answers in the affirmative."
Posted Feb 02, 2009 at 7:05 AM by Maurice Berger
A new poll reports that Americans are evenly split about the Obama Administration's plan to shutdown the prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba: "44% agree with President Obama’s decision to close
the camp within the next year, while 42% disagree in a new Rasmussen
Reports national telephone survey. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure
which is the best course to follow" In late November of last year, just 32% of voters said Gitmo should be closed down; 49%) opposed the closing. "Democrats have changed their minds far more than
Republicans. In November, 47% of Democrats favored closing the
Guantanamo prison, while 79% of Republicans disagreed. Now 71% of
Democrats agree with Obama’s decision to close it, with 68% of GOP
voters opposed. The views of unaffiliated voters’ are little changed."
Posted Feb 02, 2009 at 1:21 AM by Maurice Berger
In a red flag for the Obama administration, consumer confidence has fallen to an all-time
record low. The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the "economic
confidence of consumers on a daily basis, fell for the ninth-time in eleven days
and is now at the lowest level ever recorded. Consumer confidence had shown
signs of improving earlier in January and around the time of President Barack
Obama’s inauguration, but the continuing drumbeat of economic news has taken
hold and driven confidence back down once again. At 56.7, the Consumer Index is
down three points over the past week and down ten points over the past three