In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, President Obama has a 51 percent approval rating, and the same respondents disapprove of his handling of the economy (53 percent), the deficit (56 percent), and health care (53 percent).
They approve of the way he handles terrorism (56 percent), and prefer military to civilian trials for terror suspects, 55-39 percent, contrary to Obama’s policy.
They overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Congress is doing (71 percent) and trust the Democrats, who overwhelmingly run Congress, more than Republicans to fix the nation’s problems (43-37 percent), and prefer the Democrats to the Republicans generally, 50-44 percent. They also think it’s good (57 percent) rather than bad (36 percent) that Republicans can block whatever their trusted Democrats do in Congress, and simultaneously believe that Republicans compromise “too little” with Obama (58 percent).
56 percent of respondents say they’re inclined to “look around for someone else to vote for” in Congressional elections, describe themselves as “anti-incumbent” rather than pro (48-35 percent), and are evenly split on voting for a Democratic or GOP candidate. They believe Congress wastes 53 cents out of every dollar in tax money they send in.
By a slim margin (49-46 percent) they oppose Obama’s health care plan, and asked if they think it’s too complicated, they reply, oh, yes, we think it’s too complicated (60 percent); also, too expensive (59 percent). What they strongly want from health care is that businesses be required to provide insurance (72 percent) and that insurers be required to cover people no matter how sick they are (80 percent); to a less degree, they want all Americans to have guaranteed and, where needed, government-subsidized health care insurance (56 percent).
83 percent of them say they already have health care insurance. 22 percent of those covered have Medicare or Medicaid, down one point from 1995. 74 percent of those with private insurance say their claims are treated fairly by their insurers.
64 percent say they know “just some,” “little,” or “nothing” about the Tea Party movement, while 35 percent know “a great deal” or “a good amount” about it. They slightly disapprove of the TP movement, 40-35 percent (25 percent have no opinion), and say they agree with its positions, 45-36 percent.
They also give Sarah Palin, who just gave the big speech at the Tea Party convention, her lowest approval rating yet, 37 percent.
To sum up, Americans approve of Obama without agreeing with any of his policies; prefer Democrats without approving of their actions in Congress and while wishing to throw them out; want health care reform while disapproving of the current health reform proposals and expressing satisfaction their own health care; and approve of the Tea Party movement without knowing much about it and while hating its most famous representative.