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Poll Watch

By Dan Froomkin
11:52 AM ET, 02/ 3/2009

Susan Page writes for USA Today: "Americans overwhelmingly want Congress to pass an economic stimulus bill, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, but expectations are low that it will help their families or turn the economy around this year....

"There are divisions over just what the package should include. While 17% say Congress should reject a stimulus bill altogether, those who want a stimulus passed are evenly divided over whether Obama's plan should undergo major changes...

"Obama's job-approval rating is 64%, and about an equal percentage say he's moving at the right speed to address the major problems facing the country.

"On a list of significant steps the new president has taken to break with the Bush administration, three of four Americans express approval for several of them, including naming special envoys for the Middle East and for Afghanistan and Pakistan, curbing the role of lobbyists in the Obama administration and instituting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars.

"However, there was more disapproval than approval for two actions during his first two weeks in office: ordering the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay closed within a year, and lifting restrictions on U.S. funding for overseas family planning organizations that also provide abortion services."

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