In one of the economy’s darkest hours in decades, it looks as if people are taking Barack Obama up on his exhortations for hope and change.
Seven in 10, or 72 percent, voice confidence the president-elect will make the changes needed to revive the stalling economy, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday. Underscoring how widely the public is counting on its new leader, 44 percent of Republicans joined nearly all Democrats and most independents in expressing that belief.
The poll shows that faith in Obama is even broader, at least for now. Sixty-eight percent said they think that when he takes office in January, the new president will be able to enact the policies he pushed during his presidential campaign.
People signaled a willingness to wait on one of the keynote items of his agenda — tax cuts. Only about one in three, or 36 percent, said they wanted Obama to make income-tax cuts a top priority when he takes office, and even fewer wanted higher taxes on the rich to be a primary goal.
Instead, 84 percent said strengthening the economy should be a top-tier priority. Eighty percent also named creating jobs as a No. 1 order of business.
Majorities in both parties said those issues should be top priorities, though Democrats were a bit likelier than Republicans to say so.
With Obama ending the GOP‘s eight-year hold on the White House under President Bush and about to become the first black president, the AP-GfK poll showed three quarters saying the election made them feel hopeful, six in 10 feeling proud and half expressing excitement.