Poll: Stimulus Is Popular, but Many Want Changes to Democrats' Bill

Three quarters of Americans support a stimulus, but many supporters don't like the current plan.

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As debate in the Senate heats up over the $888 billion stimulus package, a poll released today shows that 3 in 4 Americans support some form of stimulus package—but half of those supporters think the bill needs major changes.

The Gallup Poll, taken over the weekend, asked Americans if the plan should "pass as proposed," "pass with major changes," or be rejected. While 38 percent of respondents said it should pass as proposed, 37 percent wanted major changes. Seventeen percent said it should be rejected.

Put another way, therefore, the majority of Americans think the current proposal should either be changed dramatically or be blocked.

Interestingly, a lower proportion of respondents said they thought Obama's plan would stimulate the economy than the percentage of respondents who supported the package. Nearly two thirds said the bill would make the economy "a lot" or "a little" better. Three quarters said they are "very" or "somewhat" concerned that the bill won't stimulate the economy quickly enough.

By reporting that 75 percent of Americans support the package in some form, however, the poll finds a higher level of support for a stimulus than past surveys. A Rasmussen poll released on January 21 found that only 45 percent of voters supported the stimulus plan, with 34 percent siding against it. And an earlier poll by Gallup, taken January 6-7, found that only a slight majority of Americans—or 53 percent—favored a stimulus plan. That poll came before Obama released the specifics of his proposal and before either the House or Senate had released drafts of the bill.

The stimulus bill, which passed the House last week, is currently under consideration in the Senate.