A new poll by Fox News/Opinion Dynamics shows that voters have lost confidence in Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. Almost three-quarters of Americans believe that they would do more to stimulate the economy if Congress stops Porkulus and returns the money to them instead, including majorities of Republicans, indepedents … and Democrats:
With improvements in the economy and only a fraction of the stimulus money having been spent so far, most Americans — 72 percent — say returning the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus to taxpayers would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it. Majorities of Democrats (59 percent), Republicans (87 percent) and independents (70 percent) think the money should be returned to taxpayers.
Do they expect it to happen? Decidedly not:
Despite Obama’s campaign pledge that 95 percent of Americans would “not see their taxes increase by a single dime,” some administration officials have recently refused to rule out tax increases. More Americans — by a 43-point margin — think Obama is not going to be able to keep this campaign promise on taxes (69 percent to 26 percent).
In fact, the consensus is taxes will go up. Most Americans — 75 percent — think their taxes will increase under the Obama administration. That’s up from 60 percent who thought so at the beginning of the year (13-14 January 2009).
Lest anyone dismiss this with an ad hominem about Fox News, the overall job approval rating for Obama in this poll beats Rasmussen (53% vs 47% for Rasmussen yesterday). However, the poll samples registered voters, not likely voters, which accounts for the difference. Even with that, the approval rating among independents in this poll has sagged to 49%, down five points from three weeks ago, and a whopping seventeen points since mid-June.
Marist also polls registered voters on their approval of Obama’s performance on health care, and the numbers look bad. Independents once again provide the momentum away from a wounded administration:
As the debate over health care reform rages on in Congress and in the public realm, President Barack Obama needs to do more to convince the American electorate that health care reform is the right course of action. 45% of registered U.S. voters say they disapprove of how the president is handling health care while 43% approve.
Not surprisingly, opinion is fractured along party lines with 74% of Democrats approving of how the president is dealing with the issue and 76% of Republicans disapproving of President Obama’s methods. Independents align with the GOP on this matter. A majority of Independents — 52% — are unhappy with how Mr. Obama is addressing the health care situation in the United States. There is also a large racial split. Overwhelmingly, African American voters approve of how the president is dealing with health care. 87% report President Obama is handling the situation appropriately while just 6% think he is not. White voters, on the other hand, tip the scales in the opposite direction. 52% of whites disapprove while 38% approve. Latino members of the electorate fall in the middle with 44% saying they agree with the president’s actions, and 32% reporting they do not.
It gets worse. While 65% of registered voters think some sort of reform is needed, 55% think that ObamaCare will make matters worse rather than better. Only 39% of Americans think it will improve, and only 30% of independents share that optimism, while 44% take the pessimistic view. Marist also notes that Democrats have the most to lose if ObamaCare flops; 24% will blame them for it, as opposed to 14% for Republicans, and 20% for the health-care industry.
Glenn Reynolds wonders how those numbers would look among likely voters. Good question.