Americans also realistic about turnaround time
WASHINGTON – Millions of people jobless. Billions of dollars in bailouts. Trillions of dollars in U.S. debt. And yet, for the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is on the right track.
In a sign that Barack Obama has inspired hopes for a brighter future in the first 100 days of his presidency, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe the United States is headed in the right direction — compared with 44 percent who disagree.
The “right direction” number is up 8 points since February and a remarkable 31 points since October, the month before Obama’s election.
Intensely worried about their personal finances and medical expenses, Americans nonetheless appear realistic about the time Obama might need to turn things around, according to the AP-GfK poll. Most people consider him to be a strong, ethical and empathetic leader who is working to change Washington.
Even if they don’t always like what he’s doing, Americans seem content for now that the president is taking action to correct the nation’s course.
“Some steps have been taken, and I can’t say that they’re the right ones, but steps have been taken,” said Dwight Hageman, 66, a retired welder from Newberg, Ore., who voted against Obama.
The AP-GfK poll suggests that 64 percent of the public approves of Obama’s job performance, down slightly from 67 percent in February.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted April 16-20 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media. It involved telephone interviews on landline and cell phones with 1,000 adults nationwide. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Poll: 79 percent approve of Michelle Obama
President Barack Obama’s approval rating is strong, but his wife has him beat by a wide margin.
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll survey, taken Monday and Tuesday, 79 percent say they approve of the way Michelle Obama is handling the job of first lady. Just 8 percent disapprove.
Obama’s ratings aren’t a record high for a president’s wife, but they’re close. In January 2005, 85 percent said Laura Bush was doing a good job. And in February 1999, Hillary Rodham Clinton had an approval rating of 80 percent.