A couple of data points on public opinion. First Gallup on the budget:
Second, a peak at the new WSJ/NBC poll numbers:
Here’s one set of numbers we’re releasing before the entire NBC/WSJ poll comes out at 6:30 pm ET: By a 48-20 percent margin, Americans believe the Democratic Party would do a better job of getting the U.S. out of recession than the Republican Party.
I think this confirms the basic point that the Democrats have a golden opportunity on their hands, but no kind of sure thing. Support for the Republicans has completely collapsed and people are generally supportive of the new administration. But even in the midst of whatever kind of honeymoon Obama’s going to get, these numbers aren’t going above fifty percent. If the Obama administration actually produces a return to prosperity they’ll have a lock on re-election. But if their efforts don’t work, then I bet these numbers will turn around fast. And while I’ve been very pleased with the social policy aspects—health care, energy, education, etc.—of the administration thus far I’m not at all sure that we can see recovery unless we get better finance policy and more effective international coordination of anti-recession efforts.