(CNN) – Voters are largely split when assessing President Barack Obama's handing of three major economic issues, according to a poll released Friday.
The ABC News/Washington Post survey showed that among all Americans, 47% have a favorable view of Obama's economic stimulus program, compared to 48% who see the plan in an unfavorable way. The plan – enacted in 2009, soon after Obama took office – directed increased federal spending on infrastructure, education, and expanded unemployment benefits.
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Three years later, signals of an economic recovery are mixed. The unemployment rate has fallen, but huge numbers of workers have dropped out of the workforce. As Friday's poll indicates, voters are near-evenly divided on the success of the stimulus in improving the country's economy.
Obama's loans to the U.S. auto industry – a persistent topic on the campaign trail – fared slightly better among the poll's respondents. Fifty percent of Americans viewed the loans favorably, and 43% said their stance was unfavorable.
General Motors and Chrysler accepted a total of $80 billion in federal loans, though a portion of that was administered under President George W. Bush. The higher favorability rating for the auto loans may be linked to improved performance from American automakers - in February, GM announced record annual profit, and regained its position as the world's largest automaker.
A third item, Obama's increased regulation of the financial industry, also received mixed reviews from Americans. Forty nine percent viewed the regulations favorably, and 44% viewed the new rules unfavorably.
The Dodd-Frank bill passed a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010 and was subsequently signed into law by Obama. The measure put in place new financial reforms intended to prevent the sort of risky trades that sparked the economic crisis. Republicans say the rules go too far and restrict American enterprise.
In the poll, a partisan divide was present on all three questions. Democrats were largely supportive of Obama's performance on the economy, and Republicans mostly viewed his performance unfavorably.
Independents mirrored the results as a whole – divided between viewing the president's performance favorably and unfavorably.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by phone from May 2-6, and surveyed 1,006 adults nationwide. The sampling error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.