A majority of Americans say that the GOP takeover of the House of Representatives is a good development, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. They also like the Republican Party slightly more than they do President Barack Obama, and far more than the Democratic Party.
The poll also shows that while Obama remains personally popular, an increasing number of Americans are dubious about his ability to lead, and many are pessimistic about his ability to realize his policies.
Americans actually seem to like divided government, the poll reveals. Fifty-one percent of respondents said Republican control of the House will be good for the country — virtually unchanged from the 52 percent who held that opinion immediately after the elections.
Asked whom they trust most on major issues of the day, 40 percent of respondents chose Republicans in Congress, compared to 35 percent for Obama. Only 15 percent said Democrats in Congress.
Even more disturbing for the president: 41 percent of self-described independents chose congressional Republicans, and only 31 percent chose Obama.
What Obama does have going for him is personal popularity.
Seventy-three percent of those responding to the CNN poll said they like the president on a personal level, but only 48 percent said they approve of the job he is doing as president.
Among moderates, that gap was equally pronounced. Seventy-two percent of that group said they hoped Obama’s policies will succeed, but only 49 percent expressed confidence that they would.
Still, as CNN pointed out, moderates still favor Obama more than the GOP, a potentially worrisome point for candidates in 2012. Moderates will be a key swing vote in the next presidential election.
Although he granted major concessions to GOP leaders in a tax deal negotiated during the just-concluded lame duck session of Congress, 61 percent of Republican respondents said they hope Obama's policies will fail.
The CNN/ORC poll surveyed 1,008 Americans from December 17 to 19. The margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points.
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