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9 of 10 Americans worry about Obama's spending deficits: Poll

June 23, 2009 |  6:58 am

Florida Unemployment line
Most of today's news attention will focus on the White House Rose Garden and President Obama's news conference (live blogging starts here, latimes.com/ticket, at 9:30 a.m. Pacific, 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. GMT).

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden flies way out West to Ohio today to talk about helping the middle class and the nation's economy.

But just a few months after congressional passage of the administration's whopping $787-billion economic stimulus plan, a new national poll shows Americans' confidence in its efficacy fading, especially in the Midwest, where Biden is heading.

Just about half (52%) believe the much-touted stimulus plan will or has had any impact restoring the economy, down from 59% in April. The Washington Post-ABC Poll found Obama's personal popularity remains high, in part because his Republican opposition remains in such disarray unable to offer a coherent political alternative.

The poll found:

The shift in public assessments of the stimulus package has clear political ramifications: At the 100-day mark of Obama's presidency, 63 percent of people in states that were decided by fewer than 10 percentage points in November said the stimulus act had or would boost the economy.

Today, in the telephone poll of 1,001 Americans conducted Thursday through Sunday, the number has plummeted to 50 percent in those closely contested states, with nearly as many now saying the stimulus program will not help the national economy.

The new poll confirms other surveys showing the president's popularity dipping slightly, his disapproval rating jumping about 5% and particular unhappiness focused on his handling of the automobile manufacturing crisis and the federal deficit. They add up to a serious warning signal, with unemployment lines (see photo) expected to increase even further.

Currently, 90% of Americans are worried to some degree about the exploding federal spending deficit, a galactic number certain to gain politicians' attention on both sides. And yet to come is the final bill for Obama's healthcare legislation.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

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