Washington, Feb.6 (ANI): A little over 50 percent of Americans approve of President Obama's 800 billion-dollar-plus package to stimulate the economy, a new CBS News poll finds.
But support for the bill has fallen 12 points since January, and nearly half of those surveyed do not believe it will shorten the recession.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed support the stimulus package, while 39 percent do not. An additional ten percent don't know. Last month, 63 percent supported the package and just 24 percent opposed it.
Americans believe the president is following through on his promise to establish greater bipartisanship in Washington: The public overwhelmingly thinks Obama is reaching out to Congressional Republicans, with 81 percent saying he is doing so.
Americans do not believe that Congressional Democrats and Republicans are following suit, however: Only 49 percent believe that Congressional Democrats are striving for bipartisanship, and just 41 percent say Congressional Republicans are seeking bipartisanship.
The different perceptions are reflected in the various parties' approval ratings: President Obama's approval rating stands at 62 percent, while the overall approval rating of Congress is 26 percent. (Read more on the poll's findings on the president's approval rating here.)
Eighty-one percent of Americans say the stimulus bill should be a bipartisan effort. Just 13 percent think it is okay for a bill to be passed with only the backing of the Democratic majority.
There are signs that Americans are receptive to Republicans' push to increase the proportion of tax cuts in the stimulus bill: Asked whether higher government spending or tax cuts for business would be more effective in ending the recession, 59 percent choose the tax cuts. Just 22 percent prefer more government spending.
The public is not optimistic about the impact of the economic stimulus bill: Just 21 percent believe it will significantly shorten the recession. An additional 18 percent believe it will shorten the recession slightly. Forty-five percent say it will not shorten the recession at all.
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 864 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone February 2-4, 2009. (ANI)