(Bumped, just because I love the poll numbers. SusanG)
President Barack Obama remains highly popular among the U.S. public at the end of his first month in office. However, the 63% of Americans currently approving of his job performance is down slightly from his initial 68% rating in January. The percentage disapproving has doubled, from 12% to 24%.
But Republicans aren't happy.
That's especially true of conservative Republicans.
Nearly seven in 10 believe Obama is delivering on his pledge to bring needed change to Washington, the poll found, and about eight in 10 say he is meeting or exceeding their expectations. At the same time, however, the bipartisan support he enjoyed as he prepared to take office has eroded substantially.
Just 37 percent of Republicans now approve of how he has done his job, a sharp drop from a month ago when 62 percent gave him good marks for his handling of the transition. Also, nearly seven in 10 Americans oppose making $14 billion in new loans to automakers General Motors and Chrysler, something Obama is considering in an effort to prop up the ailing industry and preserve jobs.
Of course, those GOP numbers are about what Bush used to get from everyone combined. The 37% is normal, the 62% the aberration. But that's not to say the efforts to change the tone and improve respect are a waste of time. By all accounts, it's working well. Just don't confuse that with the need to persuade irrational Republicans to be rational. More WaPo:
Overall, 68 percent of Americans approve of Obama's job performance, a finding that puts him on par with the average for past eight presidents at this point in their tenures. Ninety percent of Democrats and 67 percent of independents approve of Obama's job performance. Despite tax problems and stumbles that have led to three of Obama's top nominees withdrawing from consideration, 64 percent of Americans said they approve of how Obama is handling appointments to Cabinet posts and other top positions in the administration.
I'm persuaded that the 67% of independents approving of Obama's performance is the key number. But only in Washington do Congressional Republicans rate more than a moment of thought. For example:
While Obama has encountered near unanimous GOP opposition to his stimulus plan in Congress and widespread criticism for a housing bailout plan some critics say rewards people who have been fiscally irresponsible, 64 percent of those polled back the economic recovery package and the same percentage backs the mortgage proposal.
Overall, 60 percent of poll respondents approve of how he is dealing with the economy.
The disconnect between the polls and the pundits is as big now as before the election. Obviously, something other than facts is driving that agenda. Maybe it's the realization they don't know what they're talking about (they certainly don't reflect the average voter, who is far more disturbed by events but has far more patience than the media.)
Oh, one more thing: about that headline (who do you trust?)...
Head-to-head, though, Americans are putting far more faith in Obama than in congressional Republicans: 61 percent said they trust Obama more than the GOP when it comes to economic matters, just 26 percent side with the Republicans in Congress. Obama's advantage on that question is bigger than George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or George H.W. Bush ever had over the opposition party in the legislature on dealing with the economy.
Overall, Democrats maintain a nearly 2 to 1 edge over Republicans as the party Americans prefer to confront "the big issues" over the next few years.