News Interest Index: Stimulus News Seen As More Negative Than Positive

  • February 11, 2009

As the contentious debate over President Obama's $800 billion economic stimulus plan played out in Congress over the past week, more Americans were hearing bad things than good things about the legislation.

Close to half (48%) of the public says that what they were reading and hearing about the plan in the news was “mostly negative,” while about three-in-ten (29%) say what they read and heard was “mostly positive.” Some 17% say they saw a mix of both, according to the Pew Research Center's weekly News Interest Index survey conducted Feb. 6-9.

The public followed the debate more closely than any other story last week by a wide margin amid continuing news of major job losses and stern warnings from Obama about the severity of the crisis. Some 47% say the stimulus debate was the story they followed most closely, while 16% say they followed reports about rising unemployment most closely. One-in-ten say they followed stories about a California mother giving birth to octuplets most closely.

Read the full report Stimulus News Seen As More Negative Than Positive on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.