Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist
Most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help the economy, but see no clear signs of recovery yet; many key provisions of health care reform remain popular but support for the overall package has slipped.
Public Souring on Washington
More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama’s approval inches lower and the Democratic Party’s favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish.
Opinion of State Governments Drops With the Economy, Budget Gaps
The falloff in favorable views has been greater in states with the largest budget gaps. Also, the new administration has shifted partisan views of the federal government dramatically.
Obama’s Ratings Slide Across the Board
Support for Obama’s job performance — as well as his handling of health care, the economy and deficit–has fallen, but most remain confident his policies will be positive in the long term. The public supports many of his health care goals but opposes many proposals being debated in Congress.
Recession Dot Net
More than two-thirds of Americans have logged on to the internet looking for financial information. Of these “online economic users” most are looking for good deals and job opportunities. More said that what they learned on the internet made them more anxious than said they were made more confident.
Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend
Increasingly, Americans express the view that the nation’s economy will improve in the next year, and a growing number also expect their personal finances to get better. But this has not caused people to open their wallets.
Recession Pounds States’ Budgets
Stateline.org’s legislative review finds state budgets in such dire straits that they are closing prisons in Colorado and Kansas, raising taxes on the rich in New York and even taxing bourbon in Kentucky — and the worst is yet to come.
Gen Next Squeezed By Recession, But Most See Better Times Ahead
While the economic downturn is falling quite heavily on younger Americans, their overall outlook remains optimistic. A new survey also finds Generation Next expressing more liberal views when compared with older age cohorts as well as evidence of increased political engagement.
Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.
Support for Free Trade Recovers Despite Recession
Despite the economic recession, support for free trade agreements is up by nine percentage points — from 35% to 44% — putting positive opinions of trade back in line with long-term trends. People in low-income families and Democrats are much more supportive of trade now than they were a year ago.