WASHINGTON (CNN) - So far, so good for President Barack Obama, at least in the court of public opinion.
A new national poll suggests that most Americans approve of the way Barack Obama is so far handling his job as President of the United States, the second such post-inauguration poll to give the new president rave reviews.
Sixty-three percent of those questioned in a Diageo/Hotline survey released Tuesday give President Obama the thumbs-up, with 9 percent dissaproving of the way he is handling his duties in the White House.
That 63 percent figure is in the same ballpark as the 68 percent approval rating President Obama scored in a Gallup poll released Saturday. Both surveys were conducted entirely after Obama was inaugurated as president one week ago today.
"It's difficult to make historical comparisons to this poll because in the past, pollsters usually let a few weeks go by before measuring a new president's approval rating," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 1993, Bill Clinton has a rating of 58 percent a few days after his inauguration. The elder George Bush had a 51 percent rating in late January of 1989, as did Ronald Reagan in 1981.”
But Holland cautioned that all of these polls were very preliminary, taken before the first State of the Union addresses of each administration - the first major milestone faced by modern presidents.
The White House has said Obama is likely to address a joint session of Congress next month for the first time in his presidency.
The survey also suggests that a solid majority of those questioned, 65 percent, are confident that the proposed $825 billion stimulus package will be effective in turning around the economy. But when broken down by party, only a minority of Republicans are confident. It's the same when it comes to whether the stimulus package will be spent and managed wisely, with 57 percent overall responding yes, but only a minority of Republicans agreeing.
The poll also indicates that a majority of Americans think it will take at least two years before the country's economy comes out of recession. That's in line with the findings of a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released earlier this month.
The Diageo/Hotline poll was conducted January 21-24, with 800 people questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for the overall sample and 4.9 percentage points for the breakdowns by party.
I guess the most important thing is not to torture terrorists.