Americans are becoming increasingly skeptical that President Obama’s trademark stimulus package will prove effective, according to a new Washington Post/ABC news poll released today (see article/full poll results). The poll found that 71 percent of respondents either thought the stimulus package had made no difference or was actually hurting the economy; looking ahead, just 52 percent say the package has helped or will help the economy, down from 59 percent in an April poll.
As President Obama embarks on the boldest expansion of government since the Great Society, 48 percent disapprove of his handling of the deficit, the same as the number who say they approve. Meanwhile, Americans expressed support for a smaller government with fewer services over a larger government with more services by a 54 percent to 41 percent margin.
While these numbers suggest problems for Obama down the road, for now he still enjoys a 65 percent approval rating, and 58 percent see him as a new-style Democrat compared with just 36 percent who view him as a tax and spend liberal. At the same time, opinion of Republicans remains in the toilet, with just 36 percent saying they had a favorable opinion of the GOP.