Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poll Finds Obama More Popular With Public Than Policies

WASHINGTON -- A hundred days into his presidency, Barack Obama's standing with the public remains high, increasing the odds he can enact his ambitious agenda. Most Americans like their new president, even amid some reservations about his policy goals, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

The poll paints the image of a popular president, but also offers cautionary notes for the White House, including growing worry over the rising federal deficit, a solid majority opposing his release of Bush-era memos on interrogation techniques and slipping support for his signature economic-stimulus bill. Mr. Obama faces both a rising number of people who view him as a liberal rather than a moderate, and a populist concern that he's not tough enough on Wall Street.

There is early, tentative support for some of Mr. Obama's most complex policy goals, including health-care and energy overhauls, and support for most of the major moves he's already made.
Poll Data

But the poll also finds that the president himself is more popular than his policies, a divide that may catch up with him as Congress begins debate over the big issues in earnest.

The poll finds yet another jump in the portion of the public that sees the nation headed in the right direction, despite the continued hard times, to the point where survey participants are now evenly divided between those who see things going in the right direction, and those who believe things are on the wrong track. That's the most optimistic finding in more than five years, and it suggests that the president himself is injecting this optimism into people, and that his own job approval numbers are likely to stay strong, pollsters say.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124095605121565495.html

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