Will Voters Vote the Way They Answered This Poll?
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. voters say more tax cuts will better stimulate the economy than new government spending, even as Congress considers a second stimulus plan that could cost as much as $300 billion.
Only 32% think the government should pass another economic stimulus package, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-three percent (43%) disagree, and 24% are undecided (see crosstabs).
The findings come as a separate survey shows just 11% of voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job -- even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, increasingly confident that Barrack Obama will be elected president, is talking about a special session after the election, if necessary, to enact the second plan. Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters say Congress is doing a poor job.
The White House signaled this week, however, that it is willing to consider another stimulus plan.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of those who plan to vote for John McCain think additional tax cuts will stimulate the economy more than new government spending. Likely Obama voters are evenly divided on the question, with 28% undecided.
Men favor new tax cuts over more spending, 64% to 22%. Women agree, 54% to 23%. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of Republicans and 61% of unaffiliated voters support tax cuts over spending, compared to 40% of Democrats.
Only 27% of GOP voters think the government should pass another stimulus package, as do a plurality of Democrats (41%) and 27% of unaffiliated voters. Fifty-three percent (53%) of Republicans and 44% of unaffiliateds oppose such a plan, along with 35% of Democrats.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of African-American voters believe the government should pass another economic stimulus package, compared to 28% of white voters.
The level of opposition is perhaps not surprising since 63% of voters in an earlier survey said Wall Street will benefit more than the average taxpayer from the recently passed $700-billion economic rescue plan.
Opposition to the first economic plan was sizable and emotional, prompting most members of Congress seeking reelection to vote against it. Voters in earlier surveys generally opposed the first plan and preferred tax cuts to more spending.
Voters are more evenly divided when told some of the specifics of the proposed new stimulus plan. Forty-three percent (43%) favor a $300 billion stimulus package that includes an extension of jobless benefits, funding of infrastructure projects such as road and bridge construction, more money for food stamps and helping state and local governments that need money.
But 40% oppose such a plan, with 17% not sure.
Women by nine points oppose a second stimulus plan, but when specifics are cited, they shift in favor of it by 11. Men oppose both the concept and, by a narrower margin, the specifics.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans oppose a second stimulus plan even when some of the proposed beneficiaries are listed, while 63% of Democrats are in favor of it.
The Rasmussen Investor Index stabilized on Wednesday after a five-point jump the previous day. But investor confidence is still down eight points from a month ago and down 32 points from the beginning of the year.
As in previous surveys since the problems on Wall Street flared up last month, a majority in the new survey (55%) fear that the federal government will do too much. Just 32% worry that the government will not do enough, and 12% are undecided.
Eighty-four percent (84%) say they are following news stories about the new stimulus package at least somewhat closely, with 45% saying they are following Very closely. Only two percent (2%) say they are not following news stories about the proposal at all.
Among those following news stories Very closely, support for tax cuts over more spending is even higher, 63% to 22%. Fifty-three percent (53%) of this group oppose passage of another stimulus package but are evenly divided when the some of the details are listed.
In the second survey, 56% of voters say Congress has not passed legislation to improve their lives, but the identical number (56%) believe their legislators are at least somewhat likely to seriously address important problems. Sixty-nine percent (69%) say most members of Congress are more interested in their own careers than in helping people, and one-out-of-three voters (32%) say most members of Congress are corrupt.
Men are more critical of Congress than women. Democrats, given their control of both the House and Senate, give Congress higher marks than Republicans and unaffiliated voters.