Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The PEOPLE have spoken!
Only three weeks into his presidency, President Obama is once again on the campaign trail, this time, in an effort to drum up any support he can for his economic recovery plan.
As they say, the numbers don't lie, and some very interesting, hot-off-the-presses poll numbers tell a world of truth about how the public views Obama's first signature effort – the economic "stimulus" bill.
Unfortunately for the president, the numbers don't look good.
Obama is faced with the undeniable fact that his massive, $800 billion bill is unpopular with a majority of Americans, and is now pulling out all the stops to convince voters that Congress must act now, or America's economy won't recover anytime soon.
Just how unpopular is Obama's stimulus bill with American voters?
According to a recent poll conducted by ATI-News and Zogby International, Obama's plan is not just unpopular with rank-and-file Republican voters, but also the most coveted of all political demographics: Independents. Even most young voters, a majority of whom helped elect Obama, don't like his plan.
Here are the results of the poll, which surveyed 7,010 voters and was conducted Feb. 5 through 9, with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.2 percentage points:
Question 1: ATI-News/Zogby asked likely voters, "Some people say that the nearly one-trillion dollars in debt and subsequent interest incurred by the stimulus bill during an economic downturn will make the recovery hard to achieve. Do you agree or disagree?"
Overall, 53 percent of Americans think the Obama stimulus bill will actually hinder economic recovery, while only 31 percent disagree (16 percent are not sure). Fifty-six percent of independent voters also agree that Obama's plan will make recovery harder to achieve, while only 27 percent disagree (17 percent are not sure). As for Republicans, a staggering 88 percent agree and just 6 percent disagree (another 6 percent are not sure). Even a majority (52.5 percent) of young voters (those 18 to 29 years of age) agree that Obama's bill will hurt economic recovery. Only 30.5 percent disagree (17 percent are not sure)
Question 2: ATI-News/Zogby asked voters, "Some Republicans say the Obama stimulus package spends too much and stimulates too little. Do you agree or disagree?"
Fifty-seven percent of independent voters agree that Obama's stimulus package spends too much and does little to stimulate the economy, while just 31 percent of independents disagree (12 percent are not sure). Eighty-nine percent of Republicans also agree, while only 5 percent disagree (6 percent are not sure).
Question 3: ATI-News/Zogby asked voters, "Most Republicans oppose the currently proposed stimulus bill supported by President Obama because they say there is too much money being spent for non-stimulus items. Do you agree or disagree that too much money is being spent on items that won't improve the economy?"
Sixty-six percent of independent voters agree that Obama wants to spend too much money on items that won't improve the economy. A whopping 93 percent of Republicans agree as well. And here again, 52.5 percent of voters age 18 to 29 agree, while only 28.9 percent disagree (18.6 percent are not sure).
The poll also found that 84 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents think that the Republicans and 10 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, who voted against Obama's stimulus bill, did so because they "did not believe the bill would stimulate an economic recovery."
On Monday, a snap poll of Americans was taken by America Online, and it showed a general disappointment in Obama's big pitch to the nation in support of his stimulus bill. In fact, according to the 207,000 Americans who responded, he got an "F." Forty-two percent who watched the speech gave him a thumbs-down. Only 35 percent gave him a thumbs-up.
As a candidate, Obama was very persuasive in his speeches. Yet, surprisingly, that persuasiveness has not translated as president. In fact, 56 percent of those who took the AOL poll do not want bill passed after seeing his speech, while only 44 percent do.
If the economy is drowning, then more Americans see Obama's "economic stimulus" bill as a cinderblock, not a life preserver. There is also no perceived backlash against those in Congress who refused to vote for the bill – quite the contrary, a majority of Americans think those representatives voted "no" for good reason. None of this bodes well for President Obama, who has been forced back to the campaign trail to get not only Republicans, but also many independents and youth that supported him in the election, to believe his rhetoric.
Of course THESE polls mean nothing to our comrades in Congress. As of this writing NO Republicans are being included in the Senate/House of Representatives joint conference for the final version of the "stimulus" bill. So much for partisanship.