A new poll released Wednesday echoes what a Washington Post/ABC News poll
reported a day earlier: President Obama doesn't get good marks for his handling of issues involving the economy, but faith in Republicans doing a better job has slipped.
While the way the questions were framed in the Post/ABC News poll was different from the one by the Pew Research Center
-- the Post/ABC survey focused on the economy in general and the Pew poll focused on dealing with the deficit -- the results point to a similar trend suggesting a drop in enthusiasm for Republican policies since the party won big in last year's midterm elections.
The Post/ABC News poll found a majority disapproving of Obama's handling of the economy, but those surveyed still said they trusted him more to do a better job in dealing with the issue than the Republicans.
When it comes to the deficit issue, Pew had found last November that 35 percent thought the Republicans had a better approach than Obama compared to 24 percent who preferred Obama's approach. Thirty-three percent said there was not much difference between the two and 8 percent were undecided.
But in its latest poll
, conducted March 8-14, the percentage of those who believed Republicans had a better approach dropped to 21 percent, almost the same as the 20 percent who favored Obama. The percentage of those who said there was not much difference between the two jumped to 52 percent, with 7 percent undecided.
The poll found that the deficit issue now ranks third when it comes to the public's top economic concerns, although the percentage of those who express concern about the deficit is rising. Gallup noted a similar trend
in a January poll.
Thirty-four percent cite jobs as the top economic concern, followed by 28 percent who worry most about rising prices. Twenty-four percent named the deficit as the top problem, up from about 15 percent in Pew's last two surveys. Ten percent name problems in the financial and housing markets as the top concern.
When it comes to ways to reduce the deficit, those surveyed were in favor of lowering domestic spending by a 61 percent to 30 percent margin. Americans were roughly split on whether defense spending should be reduced, with 49 percent saying it should and 47 percent disagreeing, which was within the poll's 3-point margin of error. Nearly two-thirds opposed making changes to Social Security or raising taxes.
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