NBC/WSJ Poll: Support for Obama, but Challenges Await

President Barack Obama enjoys robust support from the American public, but a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests potential bumps ahead for his ambitious domestic agenda.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

The survey shows the new president with an approval rating of 60 percent as he nears the halfway point of his first 100 days in office. Majorities express the belief that Mr. Obama can bring real change to the country and voice support for his plans to stimulate the economy and stem home foreclosures.

Mr. Obama’s solid beginning has also paid dividends for Democrats in Congress. Approval of Congress has risen sharply, to 31 percent, in the wake of enactment of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

By 48 percent to 20 percent, Americans say Democrats rather than Republicans are better able to fix the economy.

One cautionary signal for the administration comes in the survey result concerning the role of government at a time when Mr. Obama has proposed far-reaching initiatives on energy, education and health care. While 51 percent want government to do more to address the nation’s problems, 40 percent say it’s already doing too much.

A second concerns levels of government spending. With the deficit in Mr. Obama’s new budget estimated at $1.7-trillion, six in 10 Americans worry that government will spend too much—twice the number who fears government will spend too little.

A third comes in differing assessments of the administration’s housing plan. Though a majority expresses support, when that plan is described as “financial assistance” to homeowners in trouble, a 48 percent plurality calls that assistance unfair to others.

The telephone survey of 1,007 adults was conducted Feb. 26 to March 1, and carries a margin for error of 3.1 percentage points.

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