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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Go President Obama do your thing, change is here. I'm gald President Obama is trying to help the American people, better to something than nothing at all. Can't make everybody happy. I don't agree everything on you do but drive on.

    March 17, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Kitchen Police

    Support for the stimulus is slipping? We haven't given it chance to work and support is waning? These problems require long term solutions. The President is right when he says it took years to create this mess and it will take years to get out.

    March 17, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
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