Obama’s job approval rebounds in latest polls, but can it last?
The latest polls show Obama's job approval back up to 50 percent. His response to Tucson and the bills passed by the lame-duck Congress are credited, but the economy remains a challenge.
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The poll also contained warning signs for the Republican Party, which took control of the House just two weeks ago. Only 25 percent of respondents said the Republicans in Congress “will mostly bring the right kind of change to the country,” compared with 42 percent who said that about the Democrats in January 2007 and 37 percent who said that about the Republicans in January 1995.Skip to next paragraph
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“I think this has been a pretty short Republican honeymoon,” said Bill McInturff, the Republican co-pollster on the survey, to NBC News.
Another new poll out Thursday shows Americans relatively more optimistic than pessimistic, when asked how they think Obama will do over the next two years compared with the last two years.
Overall, 50 percent of Americans surveyed said they thought Obama would do “about the same,” according to the Gallup/USA Today poll. But 39 percent said he would do better, compared with 10 percent who said worse, a net positive of 29 percentage points. Even Republicans scored the president in net positive territory, with 23 percent saying they thought he’d do better and 16 percent saying he’d do worse. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans thought Obama would do about the same.
More conservative policies sought
The poll also found that 50 percent of Americans think that Obama should pursue policies that are more conservative in the next two years, versus 17 percent who said more liberal and 30 percent who said “about the same.”
On the economy, 43 percent of Americans said they thought the economy would improve over the next two years. But, a Gallup analysis says, the president’s ability to directly affect the economy is somewhat limited, whereas he can have more impact on how the public views his ideology.
“The new poll suggests that [Obama] would fare best on that score by adopting more conservative policies, rather than adopting more liberal ones or even standing still,” writes Gallup analyst Lydia Saad. “With Republicans wielding more power on Capitol Hill, that could also help Obama satisfy Americans’ desire that Republican and Democratic leaders focus on finding common ground.”
Indeed, in his State of the Union speech, Obama is expected to focus in part on the nation’s high debt and deficits – a big issue in particular for Republicans. The question is how far he will go in adopting their approach of spending cuts over tax increases, and how his liberal base will respond.