Only 10 Percent of Americans Think Stimulus Will Improve Economy This Year, Poll Shows

By Melanie Hunter-Omar | February 5, 2009 | 5:25 PM EST

( – Most Americans want Congress to approve an economic stimulus package, but they are split on whether the measure currently under consideration should be passed as is or undergo major changes, according to a new poll.
And which category Americans fall under depends mostly on their political affiliation, Gallup found. A majority of Democrats say the plan is okay the way it is, more than four out of 10 Republicans say the bill should be passed only after major changes have been made, and 35 percent of Republicans want the plan rejected altogether.
The poll shows only 17 percent of those surveyed believe the stimulus would improve the economy, while 47 percent said it will only improve it a little. On the other hand, 17 percent – including more than a third of Republicans – say the plan will worsen the economy.
The 64 percent who think the stimulus will improve the economy at least somewhat were asked whether that will happen this year, and a majority of them – 85 percent – said the plan would not be effective until after this year. Therefore, only 10 percent said the economy will improve this year as a result of the stimulus, Gallup found.
Also, only 44 percent of those polled said the stimulus plan would improve their families’ lives at least a little, compared to 53 percent who say it will have no effect at all.
The poll was based on interviews with 1,027 adults and was conducted Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2009 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.