March 17th, 2009
11:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Support for stimulus slips, but most back Obama on economy

 The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday finds that most Americans favor President Barack Obama's overall economic proposals.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday finds that most Americans favor President Barack Obama's overall economic proposals.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that support for the stimulus plan that passed Congress last month is dropping and suggests that there is no appetite among Americans for another spending bill.
But the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday finds that most Americans favor President Barack Obama's overall economic proposals.
Sixty-five percent of those questioned in the poll say they support Obama's economic plan, with 34 percent opposed. But support for the $787 billion stimulus package, which aims to pump up the economy and create jobs by increasing federal spending and cutting taxes, now stands at 54 percent. That's a drop of 6 points from last month.
Americans appear to be split on whether the stimulus will significantly improve the country's economy, and two-thirds of those polled say they're opposed to a second stimulus if the first one doesn't boost economic conditions.

"Spending government money is growing less and less popular as time goes on, but it comes as no surprise that Democrats and Republicans have different views on that matter," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.  "Democrats still favor the stimulus bill and Republicans continue to oppose it. Independents are now evenly divided - 48 percent favor it and 50 percent oppose."
The poll also indicates that there is almost no support for another round of taxpayer money to help out banks that are in trouble. Roughly four in 10 would prefer to see some banks completely taken over by the federal government and another four in 10 favor letting the banks fail if they are in dire straights.
"Support for all the spending programs is down for two reasons," said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "One, the total money the Obama administration wants to spend has grown to mind-boggling amounts. Number two, every day people hear stories about how the government bailout money is being wasted or misused."  
Holland added, "Obama gets his lowest marks on how he is handling the problems banks and other financial institutions are facing. Our poll was taken before the latest firestorm over AIG bonuses, but even before that became a major issue, a majority said they disapproved of how Obama has reacted to the financial crisis."
Some conservative governors are pushing back against accepting portions of the federal stimulus dollars headed to their states, with a few saying the stimulus may only make matters worse. The poll indicates that Americans are split on the issue, with 47 percent saying those governors are acting appropriately and 52 percent finding their actions inappropriate.
Support is also down for assistance to homeowners in danger of foreclosure, from 63 percent in February to 56 percent now.  
"People see helping distressed homeowners as helping people who got in trouble," Schneider said. "That's very different from bailing out institutions like banks and auto companies because of reckless behavior. The number is down but it's still a majority."
Eight in 10 people questioned also oppose any assistance for countries whose economies are in danger of collapsing.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Poll • President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. bernj

    I'm with President Obama all the way. At the very least, we now have a president who truly cares about ordinary people and, thankfully, has enough intelligence to craft plans to help us out of this mess.

    March 17, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Steve in Louisville

    After weeks of negative spin by hate radio and the entire Republican fabrication machine, it's a wonder the numbers aren't worse on the stim package. But people can see with their own eyes that the economy has been tanking. No amount of spin can change that, only actions by people who want to do something about it. (Hint: It's the Democrats and three GOP senators.)

    March 17, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. ran

    Greed got us into this mess. AIG needs to be nationalize if they do not return the bonuses and then ever one who took a bonus is fired as well as the CEO. The shareholders should be demending the return of theses bonuses because if you nationalize AIG the shareholders would be wriped out.

    March 17, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. eric in texas

    You mean people are actually losing hope for the stimulus? You mean Obama did wrong?


    March 17, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Bjoerlingfan

    The reason support has dropped is because we're a nation of people who value instant gratification. We want everything NOW. The problem is that we didn't into this mess in a month, a year, or even 8 years, and it's going to take a while for things to get better. It's only been a little over 2 weeks since the first fraction of the stimulus money went out. People need to give it time. I'm guessing it'll be a few more months before we get any initial, rock-solid indicators as to whether or not the stimulus is helping.

    March 17, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    I wonder who CNN polled? Not those investing in the stock market or employing workers. My guess is that anyone that supports Obama,s economic belief is most likely looking for government handouts!

    March 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. IndependentfromTexas.

    Republicans couldn't fix the mess for 16 months but want Obama to fix in 2 months. de-messing Bush era will take time. I do agree Obama should back-off talking about raising taxes on everything like provider healthcare benefits. Tax the hell out of gains from shorts or bonuses (50-60%). Why tax earned income more than gains from gambling like stock market?

    March 17, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Michele

    Obama is bankrupting our country and doing it by spreading his agenda. Some Americans are too stupid to notice he's doing it with our money. Wake UP AMERICA!!!

    Are ready to quit working for this once great country to get a handout from this ma? I hope not!

    March 17, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. lb

    Obama is a floundering leader with eloquent speeches and a narcissist at that. Why does Geitner not have a staff to help with our economic issues? He still has not announced any viable plan. We now have the blind leading the blind and it is a democrate government with no checks and balances and it was a democrat congress that got us into this.

    March 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. katiec

    What the republicans and the media cannot seem to realize is that the American people see through all the hypocrisy.
    You see, we want our country to survive. The republicans have offered nothing but obstruction and the media nothing but negativity.
    Could we ask, for once, unity in a goal to return our country to the greatness we once had?? Is that asking too much?

    March 17, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. lb

    Keith....I agree. He is catering to individuals not able to take the responsibility for their decisions and to develop a plan to help themselves. It is much easier to get the handouts. Geitner doesn't even have a viable plan and we are in big trouble with a democrat controlled government with no checks and balances.

    March 17, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. John from California

    Support for the stimulus is suffering because of the constant attacks from the right wing media. The republican party and the right wing media have lied about the cause of this economic depression and they continue to lie about how to fix it. It is not in the republicans best interest to see the majority of us living a good life as it dips too far into their profits.

    March 17, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Independent Paul

    To IndependentfromTexas:

    Republicans have not been in control of Congress for over 26 months. It has been Pelosi, Reid, and Bush. Truly, this is a bipartisan economic disaster.

    Moreover, it seems like instead of changing the way we attack this economy, the Obama administration of Obama/Geitner is enlarging the failed Bush/Paulson policies.

    I believe the time has come to call this the Bush-Obama economy, since there seems to be no stopping this freight train of destruction.

    March 17, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Day trader

    I think it's time to sell Obama before his stock drops any lower.

    March 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Brian Crooks

    The poll numbers will begin to go back up when people see that nifty logo all over their city marking new projects. With all the negativity from the GOP, I'm not shocked that support has fallen off some, but this isn't a one-shot bill. It'll be ongoing for months and years ahead, so I would expect to see the poll numbers change. I bet the poll numbers a month after we invaded Iraq were significantly higher than they were 4 years later. These things change based on actual results.

    On a side note, CNN, did this story REALLY need three consecutive headlines?

    March 17, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Olivia, MA

    Of course we back Obama. He's the last life preserver in a sea of floating rafts with holes in them. We will back him until the end because he's on the people's side.

    March 17, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Deb

    He will regain the numbers and then some. He is on track to becoming one of the Greatest Presidents.

    March 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    I take exception to the blog that anyone who supports President Obama's stimulus plan is looking for a handout. I'm not looking, because 8 years of Bush taught me not to expect anything but more taxes, bigger spending on things that do nothing for my life but benefit the wealthy few from the government. I support the stimulus package because the heart of it is to rebuild this country, its infrastructure, schools, bridges, roads, manufacturing, rail systems, and bring back jobs. Not everything will work, but enough will to start bringing this country back from the brink. I'm not ready for a second stimulus package, however...I think we need to give the first one a chance to be implemented and tested.

    I have a job, but some of my neighbors don't. I have some medical coverage, millions do not (and I did not until recently). I have a home, too many people - and not just the ones who bought on ARMs and shouldn't have qualified - are losing theirs, like I've almost done twice. It has taken many years - and not just Republican terms - to put us in this situation. It will take months, if not years, to pull us back.

    March 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Republicans Suck

    Michele: Iraq = 10 billion a month x 6 years = STUPIDITY.

    Quit blathering about your lies and deception.

    March 17, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Kevin in Ohio

    It seems the One has already proclaimed "Mission Accomplished". He's appearing on Leno this week to celebrate.

    March 17, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. demwit

    I'll support Obama all the way to the poor house!!!

    March 17, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Reggie in Charlotte

    Eric from texas an all the other people who will run with this. They spoke with a little over 1000 people. All the haters will jump to say I told you so until the stimulus helps them out. To all those who are being totally negative just pray that you never have to eat your words or either live in S.C., Lousiana, or Texas where the governors are truly ignorate. This can work if the governors use the money correctly. Most of them however don't know to be honest so I think we see them running from the challenge. If this work it because of all of us not just the dems or reps or Washington or even the President but because of all Americans contributing. Only together will we all make it.

    March 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. no corporate politics

    Messiah meets reality. It is still OK to question your leaders. I hope Obama does well, but all politicians need to be watched.

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

    Theodore Roosevelt

    March 17, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. John doe

    It's amazing to see and hear people crying out loud complaining about what AIG is doing with tax payers money.
    The same people and especially republicans call nationalization of the banks Socialism and refuse any strict control of the government in the name of free enterprise and free market. Refuse any oversight by the government on this companies.
    Now when the government hand 170 billions to AIG and let them do whatever they want with it to fix their problems in order to reboot the economy, they come back to complain about outreageous bonuses.
    You can't have it both ways. We owe AIG and the government got to tell them what to do and how to manage their company and screw anybody that calls this Socialism.

    March 17, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. will

    So what, the honeymoon may be ending President Obama is a smart man and he has been married to his wife Michelle the first lady for a long time.

    Like most marriages when the honeymoon is over you just have to keep stroking the flames and keep her happy! No big deal. Accept for the keeping her happy part, that can be a little tricky. From time to time you may do some things she will not like. Just try to do more things she will like.

    March 17, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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