By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
We already knew that the public has high expectations that new President Barack Obama will turn the country around but now we know just how much confidence they have in him. A new national assessment study from the authoritative Wilson Research Strategies finds that their confidence outpaces what they had during both Bush presidencies. In the new report, provided to Whispers, confidence that Obama will be an outstanding or above average president is a lofty 62 percent. For former President George W. Bush the rating in his first month was 47 percent and it was just 38 percent when his dad, former President George H.W. Bush took office.
Among the other findings: Most people have hopes that Obama will be able to bridge the partisanship in Washington, but they are evenly split over whether he will be successful. Also, 57 percent back the Democratic $825 billion stimulus plan, but an even greater 60 percent think the Feds will spend too much money. And one final note that is indicative of the political shift in the country brought on by the 2008 election: More voters, 36 percent, identify themselves as Democrats more than at any time in the past 20 years. What's more, the Democrats are picking up independents, a dramatic shift that could doom the GOP to minority status in Congress for the decade that some insiders fear.
Check out more of the new Washington Whispers.