'Confidence' Jig Is Up: In Poll, Obama Is Seen as Ineffective on the Economy

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ByLoSellHi, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. It's coincidental that they just published this article after taking this poll as I was commenting recently that if the confidence goes away, so does the prospect of an economic recovery, IMO.

    Economic stability inherently depends on confidence.

    In Poll, Obama Is Seen as Ineffective on the Economy

    Published: June 17, 2009

    A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, which also found that support for his plans to overhaul health care, rescue the auto industry and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, falls well below his job approval ratings.


    A distinct gulf exists between Mr. Obama’s overall standing and how some of his key initiatives are viewed, with fewer than half of Americans saying they approve of how he has handled health care and the effort to save General Motors and Chrysler. A majority of people said his policies have had either no effect yet on improving the economy or had made it worse, underscoring how his political strength still rests on faith in his leadership rather than concrete results.

    As Mr. Obama finishes his fifth month in office and assumes greater ownership of the problems he inherited, Americans are alarmed by the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been doled out to boost the economy. A majority said the government should instead focus on reducing the federal deficit.

    But with a job approval rating of 63 percent, Mr. Obama has the backing of Democrats and independents alike, a standing that many presidents would envy and try to use to build support for their policies. His rating has fallen to 23 percent among Republicans, from 44 percent in February, a sign that bridging the partisan divide may remain an unaccomplished goal.

    The poll was conducted after Mr. Obama completed his fourth international trip as president. He received high marks for his focus abroad, with 59 percent of those polled saying they approve of his approach to foreign policy. And after weeks of criticism from former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans, 57 percent say they approve of how Mr. Obama has dealt with the threat of terrorism.

    The White House is entering a critical summer with Mr. Obama pledging to push his plans to revamp health care and financial regulation through Congress and Senate hearings scheduled on his first nominee to the Supreme Court. The poll suggested Americans remain patient, even as a strong majority expressed concern that they or someone in their family could lose their jobs in the next year.

    “My feeling is that Obama is just throwing money at things, but I don’t see anything being specifically targeted,” Lynn Adams, 62, a Republican from Troy, Mich., said in a follow-up interview. “But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because he hasn’t been in office long enough.”

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whom Mr. Obama nominated to the Supreme Court three weeks ago, is still widely unknown to the public, the poll found. A majority of people surveyed, 53 percent, said they did not know enough about Judge Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic justice, to say whether she should be confirmed. But 74 percent said that it was either very or somewhat important for the Supreme Court to reflect the country’s diversity.

    Before the Senate votes on her confirmation, 48 percent of people said her positions on issues like abortion and affirmative action were very important to know about.

    The national telephone poll was conducted Friday through Tuesday with 895 adults, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

    The poll highlights the political and governing challenges on the horizon for Mr. Obama, including the towering federal budget deficit, which is expected to push the national debt to levels that many economists say could threaten the economy’s long-term vitality. Six in 10 people surveyed said the administration has yet to develop a clear plan for dealing with the deficit, including 65 percent of independents.

    Mr. Obama, in an interview on Tuesday with CNBC and The New York Times, said the budget deficit was “something that keeps me awake at night.”

    While Republicans have steadily increased their criticism of Mr. Obama, particularly on the budget deficit, the poll found that the Republican Party is viewed favorably by only 28 percent of those polled, the lowest rating ever in a New York Times/CBS News poll. In contrast, 57 percent said that they had a favorable view of the Democratic Party.

    The nomination of a Supreme Court justice, as well as the fatal shooting of an abortion doctor in Kansas late last month, injected a fresh dynamic into the national abortion debate. But the poll found essentially no change in the public’s views of abortion in the last two decades, with 36 percent saying it should be generally available, 41 percent saying it should be available but under stricter limits than are now in place and 21 percent saying it should not be permitted.

    The nomination of Judge Sotomayor also has renewed discussion about affirmative action. Half of those surveyed said they favored programs that make special efforts to help minorities get ahead, a number that rises among nonwhite respondents and women. Far more, 8 in 10, said they favored programs to help low-income Americans get ahead, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

    The issues of abortion and affirmative action sharply divide voters in each major political party. Among Democrats, 71 percent oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, while Republicans are closely divided. And 67 percent of Democrats support affirmative action programs for minorities, while 60 percent of Republicans oppose them.

    Beyond these issues, which Mr. Obama has sought to avoid becoming entangled in, he faces a divided public as he works to carry out his executive order to close the prison for terrorism suspects at Guantánamo Bay. The poll found that 8 in 10 expressed worry that detainees released to other countries might be involved in future attacks here.

    Half of the poll respondents said closing the prison would have no effect on protecting the nation from terror threats, but 3 in 10 said they thought it would make the United States less safe. Many of the detainees being held at the prison have not been charged, and nearly 7 in 10 people surveyed said they would support charging them or releasing them back to the country of their capture. Just 24 percent said the detainees should continue to be held without charge for as long as the government deems necessary.

    The poll found that a wide majority of those who support closing the prison said their views would not change even if detainees were sent to maximum security prisons in the United States.

    “It’s a bad symbol for our country: Preach one thing and do something else,” said Roberta Hall, 73, a Democrat from Barboursville, W.Va. “We can transfer them here. We’re good at keeping prisoners. That’s what we do best.”

    Marjorie Connelly and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.
  2. ashatet


    Things are so bad that George W administration has started to look better than this.

    Things just look and seem very bad now, I have never felt like this in decades.

    Is Obama talking to any of his University of Chicago economists buddies? It does not seem like that he is.