Washington (CNN) – Although the public thinks that GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives will be good for the country, a new national poll indicates most Americans appear to prefer President Barack Obama's approach to the issues.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday also suggests that new House Speaker John Boehner's star is on the rise.
Full results (pdf)
According to the poll, Americans say by a 50 to 41 percent margin that Republican control of the House is good for the country, and 56 percent predict that congressional Republicans will have more influence than the president over the direction the nation takes in the next two years.
"But that's not what they want," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "By a 50 to 44 percent margin, the public wants Obama to have more influence than the GOP."
The poll indicates president and the GOP are essentially tied when it comes to their budget policies, with 46 percent saying they prefer Obama's proposals and 43 percent saying they favor the congressional Republicans approach to dealing with the tough choices involved both in cutting programs to reduce the budget deficit and still maintaining needed federal programs.
"Obama's numbers on those questions are far better than the figures Bill Clinton posted in 1995, when Newt Gingrich led the GOP to a takeover on Capitol Hill," adds Holland. "When Clinton defended himself in a press conference as still 'relevant' to the process, only 13 percent thought he would have more influence than the GOP and only 40 percent wanted him to do so."
According to the survey, another big difference between 1995 and today is the top Republican on the Hill. In 1995, Gingrich's favorable rating was stuck in the mid to high 20's. By contrast, Boehner's popularity has been on the rise since the election. The number who have a favorable opinion of Boehner has doubled since September and is up nine points since December. Forty-five percent now say they have a positive view of Boehner, compared to only 23 percent who have an unfavorable view of him. About a third of the public is still unfamiliar with the new Speaker.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report