US President Barack Obama is benefiting from optimism and confidence among Americans about his leadership, providing him with political clout as he confronts the nation’s economic challenges and opposition from nearly all Republicans in Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
A majority of people surveyed in both parties said Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most Americans faulted Republicans for their response to the President, saying the party had objected to the $787 billion (Rs39.27 trillion) economic stimulus plan for political reasons.
A month into Obama’s term, more than three-quarters of the people polled said they were optimistic about the next four years.
Similar percentages said that they thought he was bringing real change to the way things are done in Washington?and?they?had?confidence in his ability to make right decisions about the economy.
The aura of goodwill surrounding Obama at this stage of his presidency is similar to the one that benefited Ronald Reagan as he led the nation out of economic gloom. Obama’s approval rating—63%—is about 10 percentage points higher than either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton was at this early stage of their presidencies. Obama’s job approval rating includes 88% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans.
A majority of poll respondents said that so far, the administration’s bailout plans for financial institutions would benefit bankers, not all Americans.
The national telephone poll was conducted on 18-22 February with 1,112 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES