Obama Is Popular and So Are His Plans

The public may like Obama personally, but they also like and approve of his policies, writes Ruy Teixeira.

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There’s no doubt about it: President Barack Obama is quite popular with the American public. As a recent report from Gallup notes: “Nearly all major demographic categories of Americans are pleased with his job performance.” As just one example of this broad support, Obama receives 76 percent approval among those in households with less than $24,000 in income, 62 percent approval in households from $24,000 to $59,999, 57 percent approval in households from $60,000 to $89,999 and 61 percent approval in household with over $90,000 in income.

chart one

This approval extends to Obama’s ambitious plans for the country as he moves into his second hundred days. In a late April NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the public backed all five Obama proposals mentioned by the survey: 76 percent approved of making it easier for schools to dismiss poorly performing teachers; 68 percent approved of spending $120 billion over the next decade to develop clean energy technology; 62 percent approved of talking directly to the Iranian government; 58 percent approved of charging a fee to companies that emit greenhouse gases and using that money to provide middle class tax cuts; and 56 percent approved of using government funds to expand health care coverage and raising taxes on the wealthy to help provide that coverage.

chart two

The public may personally like and approve of Obama, but they also like and approve of his policies. In the end, the latter support may prove far more important.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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