January 18, 2009 in Nation/World

Poll: Hopes high for Obama

Washington Post

WASHINGTON – Even as they express deep concern about the current direction of the country, Americans are overwhelmingly optimistic about Barack Obama and are pinning their hopes for recovery from a massive economic collapse on the president-elect, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Nearly eight in 10 of those surveyed say the country is headed seriously off course. Seven in 10 worry about their family’s finances, and 94 percent say the country’s economy is in “not so good” or “poor” shape, the most negative assessment in more than 23 years of Post-ABC polling.

Obama will take office Tuesday as the most popular incoming president in a generation.

More than half of all Americans have high hopes for his presidency, almost three-quarters of the public say Obama’s proposals will improve the struggling economy, and about eight in 10 have a favorable view of him – more than twice the number now holding positive views of Bush. About seven in 10 say Obama understands their problems, and a similar proportion say his victory gives him “a mandate to work for major new social and economic programs.”

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