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Support for stimulus plan slips, poll finds

  • Story Highlights
  • Poll: Support for $787 billion stimulus package drops 6 percentage points in month
  • Americans have almost no support for more taxpayer money for banks, poll indicates
  • Two-thirds of those polled say they back President Obama's overall economic plan
  • Support wanes for aid to homeowners in danger of foreclosure, according to poll
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By Paul Steinhauser
CNN Deputy Political Director
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A new national poll indicates that support for the stimulus plan that passed Congress last month is dropping and suggests that there is no appetite among Americans for another spending bill.

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But the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday finds that most Americans favor President Obama's overall economic proposals.

Sixty-five percent of those questioned in the poll said they support Obama's economic plan, with 34 percent opposed. But support for the $787 billion stimulus package, which aims to pump up the economy and create jobs by increasing federal spending and cutting taxes, now stands at 54 percent. That's a drop of 6 percentage points from last month.

Americans appear to be split on whether the stimulus will improve the economy significantly, and two-thirds of those polled said they're opposed to a second stimulus if the first one doesn't boost economic conditions.

Reality Check: Housing

1 in 5
Number of mortgage holders who owe more on their homes than they're worth

59 percent
Percentage of Americans who blame the economic crisis on "bad loans by banks"

8 percent or more
Percentage of mortgage payments that analysts say will be late in 2009

see more

Sources: First American CoreLogic, Pew Research Center, Association of Credit and Collection Professionals

"Spending government money is growing less and less popular as time goes on, but it comes as no surprise that Democrats and Republicans have different views on that matter," said Keating Holland, CNN's polling director. "Democrats still favor the stimulus bill, and Republicans continue to oppose it. Independents are now evenly divided -- 48 percent favor it and 50 percent oppose."

The poll also indicates almost no support for another round of taxpayer money to help out banks in trouble. Roughly four in 10 would prefer to see the federal government completely take over some banks, and another four in 10 favor letting the banks fail if they are in dire straits.

"Support for all the spending programs is down for two reasons," said Bill Schneider, a CNN senior political analyst. "One, the total money the Obama administration wants to spend has grown to mind-boggling amounts. No. 2, every day people hear stories about how the government bailout money is being wasted or misused."

Holland added, "Obama gets his lowest marks on how he is handling the problems banks and other financial institutions are facing. Our poll was taken before the latest firestorm over AIG bonuses, but even before that became a major issue, a majority said they disapproved of how Obama has reacted to the financial crisis."

Some conservative governors are pushing back against accepting portions of the federal stimulus dollars headed to their states. Some of these governors said the stimulus may only make matters worse.

The poll indicates that Americans are split on the issue, with 47 percent saying those governors are acting appropriately and 52 percent feeling those governors are acting inappropriately.

Support also is down for assistance to homeowners in danger of foreclosure, from 63 percent in February to 56 percent now.

"People see helping distressed homeowners as helping people who got in trouble," Schneider said. "That's very different from bailing out institutions like banks and auto companies because of reckless behavior. The number is down, but it's still a majority."

Eight in 10 people questioned also oppose any assistance for countries whose economies are in danger of collapsing.

The CNN/Opinion Research poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 1,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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