Entries in Economic Stimulus (3)


Mixed Views on Three Key Issues Mark Obama’s Campaign Challenges

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Americans give President Obama mixed marks on three prominent issues he’s touted in his bid for re-election in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with no scores above 50 percent on either the auto industry bailout, greater regulation of financial institutions or -- most basic -- the administration’s economic stimulus program.

Middling ratings on each of these denote some of the president’s challenges in the campaign now officially under way.  While he’s substantially more popular personally than the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, Obama is vulnerable on key issues.

The poll finds that Americans divide almost exactly evenly on the administration’s economic stimulus program, with 47 percent seeing it favorably overall, 48 percent unfavorably. 

It’s a bit better for Obama on the auto industry loans, 50-43 percent, and financial industry regulation, 49-44 percent.

But none of these reaches majority favorability -- and the intensity of sentiment on the stimulus is much more strongly negative than positive.

Obama has cited his performance on these issues, among others, in making his case for re-election.  But this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds responses sharply divided by political allegiance and ideological preference.

In likely the president’s biggest risk, independents rate the economic stimulus negatively by 50-44 percent.  They’re less negative (indeed slightly positive) on the automaker loans and regulation of financial institutions, but it’s the economy that dominates voter concerns.

Political independents are the key swing voters in national elections, and at 41 percent of the population, they outnumber Democrats and Republicans alike in this survey, 33 and 23 percent, respectively.

Among partisans, anywhere from 66 to 74 percent of Democrats and liberals have positive views of Obama’s work on these issues, compared with a paltry 16 to 26 percent of Republicans and 24 to 35 percent of conservatives.  Moderates are more positive than negative on all three, but again most closely on the economic stimulus.

As noted, intensity of sentiment on the stimulus is against the president: Among all Americans, many more rate the economic stimulus strongly unfavorably, 31 percent, as strongly favorably, 18 percent.  It’s a similar 31 vs. 15 percent among independents.  Strong sentiment on the automaker loans and financial industry regulations is more evenly divided.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fact Check: President Obama's Record on Jobs

Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza | The White House(NEW YORK) -- On Wednesday night, President Obama mounted a vigorous defense of his administration's record on jobs, a key issue as voters prepare for the midterm elections. But was everything the president said factual?

"The problem was we lost four million jobs before I was sworn in," Obama said. That's true. From December 2007 to January 2009, while President Bush was in office, the nation lost a total of 4.3 million jobs, more than half of the nearly eight million jobs that have disappeared since the recession began.

"Most of the jobs we lost were lost before the economic policies we put into place had any effect," Obama added. That, again, is true, but with a catch. More than half of the 7.6 million jobs lost disappeared before Obama was in office, and monthly job losses did begin to decline markedly last April. However, Obama is wrong to imply that the stimulus plan he pushed through Congress is the reason things began to turn around. Very little of the stimulus money had been spent when the job situation first started to get a little better.

"The Recovery Act took a lot of time to get into place, and the biggest criticism is that the spending has been inefficient and slow," said conservative economist Doug Holtz-Eaken in a Washington Post video. "So it's not the Recovery Act that's causing this."

On the Republican side, candidates have been quick to blame the president for the job losses, driving the message home in debates and on television ads with accusations that the Democrats are "killing" jobs. Looking at just this year, that would be false. While unemployment remains stuck at around 9.5 percent, the economy has added more than 600,000 jobs through September.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Stimulating Debate: Democrats, Republicans Differ on Stimulus

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With a sluggish economy and an electorate disgusted with Washington, it's no surprise that the president's $862 billion economic stimulus program has emerged as a central campaign issue.  Republicans attack it, Democrats defend it, and both make claims about its impact.

Massachussett's Republican Sen. Scott Brown set the tone after he captured Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat in January.

"In Massachusetts, it hasn't created one new job and throughout the country as well.  It may have retained some, but it hasn't created any new jobs," Brown told reporters at his first press conference as a U.S. senator.  "The last stimulus bill didn't create one new job."

More recently, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott in Florida declared, "The stimulus has not created one private sector job."  And Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate for Senate in Florida, attacks the stimulus in a TV ad, saying, "The only thing missing is jobs."

As the campaign hits the final stretch, some Republicans are claiming the stimulus has actually caused job loss.

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, the Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, said the stimulus program "created" unemployment.

"The stimulus was excessive spending that did not meet the intended targets or consequences and was the wrong thing to do and has created not only unemployment, but the big circumstance with the debt that we're dealing with," Sessions told ABC News last week.

In a recent debate, Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell went so far as to say the stimulus "cost us 2.6 million jobs."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio