When a presidential news conference is coming up – like President Obama's at 12:45 this afternoon – we typically distribute a crib sheet of top data points internally to support our coverage. Here are the latest from the new ABC/Post poll this week:
-Obama's job approval is 66 percent, highest for a president at this stage in office since Bush 41 in 1989. Twenty-nine percent disapprove.
-Approval is 95 percent among Democrats, 30 percent among Republicans, biggest partisan gap at this stage of a presidency in available data since 1953. (61 percent approval among independents.)
-Approve-disapprove of his handling of the economy is 60-38 percent; international affairs, 62-27 percent; the federal deficit, 52-43 percent.
-Country headed in the "right direction" vs. "wrong track" is 42-57 percent, compared with 19-78 percent in mid-January and 8-90 percent in October (the latter a record negative in data since 1973).
-Economy "getting better" vs. "getting worse" is 27-36 percent, vs. 6-62 percent in mid-January and 2-82 in October (latter a record negative in data since 1981).
-As with Obama approval, "right track" and "getting better" views are sharply partisan.
-Obama leads the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the economy by 58-25 percent, the latter a low for the out-party in data since 1991. Sixty-four percent are at least somewhat confident his program will improve the economy.
-While hopes for the future are better, ratings of current economic conditions remain dismal – 93 percent rate the economy negatively, 76 percent call it a bad time to spend money, 54 percent say their personal finances are in bad shape. Sixty-three percent are spending less, 31 percent sharply less. Sixty-one percent report stress as a result of the economic situation, one in three, serious stress. Significant lifestyle changes are occurring.
See our main poll analysis here, our piece on economic cutbacks here, our latest weekly consumer confidence report here, data on Obama abroad here… and, while we're talking, results here on Michelle Obama's considerable popularity.