Poll: Majority Of Americans Back Obama, Not Happy With GOP

While Republican policymakers have clearly impressed each other, they haven't quite connected with everyone else.
Congressional Republicans seem to be feeling pretty good about themselves. They're voting in lock step, dominating the cable chatter, and releasing Aerosmith-backed videos bragging about their opposition to the economic recovery package. The GOP had discovered its mojo and was finally where it wanted to be.

But while Republican policymakers have clearly impressed each other, they haven't quite connected with everyone else.

President Obama is benefiting from remarkably high levels of optimism and confidence among Americans about his leadership, providing him with substantial political clout as he confronts the nation's economic challenges and opposition from nearly all Republicans in Congress, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

A majority of people surveyed in both parties said Mr. Obama was striving to work in a bipartisan way, but most faulted Republicans for their response to the president, saying the party had objected to the $787 billion economic stimulus plan for political reasons. Most said Mr. Obama should pursue the priorities he campaigned on, the poll found, rather than seek middle ground with Republicans.

The NYT poll found that three-quarters of Americans believe the president has been trying to work with Republicans, but only 3 in 10 said Republicans were doing the same. Indeed, 63% of poll respondents said Republican opposition to the stimulus package was about politics, not policy, and 79% said Republicans should give up on its agenda and start working more with Democrats.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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