Support for Stimulus Plan Slips, But Obama Rides High

Feb 09, 2009

After weeks of intense debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a narrow majority of Americans (51%) who have heard about the $800 billion plan say it is a good idea, while 34% say it is a bad idea. In January, the balance of opinion regarding the plan was more positive: 57% of those who had heard about the proposal viewed it positively, compared with just 22% who viewed it negatively.

Reaction to the proposal has become much more politicized since January. The balance of opinion among Republicans, which was fairly evenly divided in January, has turned considerably more negative. More than six-in-ten Republicans (63%) who have heard about the proposal now say it is a bad idea – up 20 points in about a month. Increasing percentages of independents (up 12 points since January) and Democrats (up seven points) also see the proposal as a bad idea. Still, nearly half of independents (49%) and 70% of Democrats view the plan positively.

Notably, support for the proposal is now much lower than it was in January among those who have heard a lot about the economic stimulus. By 49% to 41%, those who have heard a lot about the proposal now see it as a good idea; in January, those who had heard a lot favored it by more than two-to-one. There has been less change among those who have heard less about the proposal.

Read the full report Support for Stimulus Plan Slips, But Obama Rides High on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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