POLL: Public Sees Recession; Stimulus Plan Draws Skepticism

Only 33 percent, similarly, approve of the way Congress, as a whole, is doing its job, with somewhat more criticism for the Republicans in Congress (30 percent approval) than for the Democrats (of whom a bit more, 39 percent, approve).

Perhaps not surprisingly, especially in an election year, there is strong partisanship built into many of these views — not only on political issues, but on economic judgments, as well. Seventy percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents think the country's in a recession; far fewer Republicans, 40 percent, agree. And Republicans are just over twice as likely as Democrats or independents to think an economic stimulus package will soften the blow. But even among Republicans, just under half think it'll help.

METHODOLOGY -- This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone, Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,249 adults, including an oversample of African-Americans, for a total of 215 black respondents (weighted back to their correct share of the national population). The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

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