It's a Pew poll, so lots of meat and potatoes, and lets start with health care:
There continues to be widespread support for changing the health care system so that all Americans have insurance that covers all medically necessary care: 75% favor this currently, while 21% are opposed. However, the percentage favoring this proposal is down from 83% in April 1993. Similarly, while a large majority (61%) believes it is very important to limit annual increases in health care costs, fewer say that now than did so 16 years ago (69%).
When asked which is more important – to control annual cost increases or guarantee all Americans access to needed care – a majority (56%) says that it is more important to provide access to necessary medical care for all Americans while 36% say it is more important to control health care costs. In 1993, the public also opted for guaranteed access to care for all, but by a greater margin (74% to 20%).
Perhaps the most important change since 1993 is in the public’s assessment of how much change the current health care system needs. In April 1993, a majority (55%) said the system needed to be completely rebuilt, 26% said it needed fundamental changes, while 15% said it needed only minor changes. Today, fewer than half (41%) say the system needs to be completely rebuilt, while 30% say it requires fundamental change and 24% say the system works pretty well and needs only minor changes.
That matches what we see from NBC/WSJ, by the way, also at 75% support for "public option". Nearly three quarters (71) want either fundamental change (30), or a complete rebuild (41) if the system, so tweaks around the edges won't do it.
[T]here is less support for completely rebuilding the health care system than there was during the early stage of the Clinton administration’s unsuccessful effort to revamp health care. In April 1993, a majority of Americans (55%) said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt. As discussion of Clinton’s proposals progressed, support for completely rebuilding the health care system declined. By June 1994, just 37% said the health care system needed to be completely rebuilt.
At 61%, Obama's job approval remains strong, similar to the CBS/NY Times poll.
A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic Obama will reduce the budget deficit over the long-term. Nonetheless, Obama’s job approval on the economy has declined from 60% in April to 52% currently.
The slippage in the president’s economic ratings appears unrelated to the public’s assessments of his administration’s impact on current economic conditions – most (53%) say his policies have "not had an effect so far" or that it is too early to tell. Instead, it may have more to do with his relatively poor ratings for handling the problems of troubled automakers General Motors and Chrysler.
Substantial party differences remain in views of Obama’s handling of the economy, although the decline in approval is seen across the board. Fully 80% of Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, compared with 50% of independents and just 20% of Republicans.
Remember that there will always be a partisan split. Making Republicans happy is a task beyond any mortal Democrat, so keeping track of indies and Dems makes the most sense.
And, just like in every other poll,
While about a third of Republicans (34%) approve of the way Obama had handled problems with banks and financial institutions, an even smaller percentage (26%) approves of his handling of automakers’ problems. Large majorities of Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of both issues (67% banks, 65% automakers), while fewer than half of independents approve of Obama’s job performance on problems with banks (49%) and automakers (45%)...
Substantial majorities of both liberal (86%) and conservative and moderate (75%) Democrats approve of the stimulus package, while four-in-ten (40%) moderate and liberal Republicans and just 20% of conservative Republicans do so. As with other economic policies, independents are divided; a slim majority (52%) approves of the stimulus package.
There is always going to be concern about spending money, only 36% of Americans approve of spending billions to keep U.S. automakers in business, and "most Americans favor ensuring health coverage to all Americans, and most also say it is very important to limit the overall annual increase in health care costs" even if in slightly less numbers than in 1993. Obama has public support for change, and paying for that change will lead to stronger support. On national security, "most Americans (51%) say Obama is about right in his approach to foreign policy and national security issues, while 38% say he is not tough enough."
As for Republicans as an alternative:
The job approval of Republican leaders in Congress remains at near record lows. Currently, 29% approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, while a majority (56%) disapproves. Approval ratings are little changed from March when Republican leaders received their lowest approval marks (28%) since Pew Research first began tracking the question in 1994.
In large part, low overall ratings for Republican leaders in Congress reflect ambivalence among those in their own party. Fewer than half of Republicans (47%) approve of the work their congressional leaders are doing; however, about as many (41%) disapprove. In addition, a majority of independents offer critical assessments of Republican leaders in Congress: 60% disapprove of their performance, just 25% approve. Democrats are predictably critical of the performance of Republican leaders (67% disapprove), but no more so than Republicans are of Democratic congressional leaders (75% disapprove).
There's more data in the poll on Dem approval,
The trend in opinion among political independents mirrors that of the general public: Currently, just 33% of independents approve of how Democratic leaders are handling their job while 53% disapprove; this represents an eight-point drop in approval from March.
foreign policy and security issues and SCOTUS discussion, as well as the observation that GOP leaders are assessed more blame (26) for not working with Obama than the other way around (12).
All in all, a very solid poll for Obama, and while he may be more popular than his policies, his policies, and his handling of issues is popular enough to give him whatever political currency he needs.
Senators, are you listening??