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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending December 17, 2010

President Obama and senior congressional Republicans eked out a victory this week on the bill extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, cutting the federal payroll tax for a year, and extending emergency unemployment benefits for 13 months.

Just prior to the final votes in the House and Senate, most voters still approved of the tax cutting deal between the president and Republicans in Congress, but support had slipped to 52%. 

Given the experience of recent decades, it’s perhaps not surprising that 46% of all voters expect the winning Tea Party candidates to sell out and become just like other politicians. Only 34% disagree. Most Tea Party members expect those candidates to stay true, but 61% of those with no ties to the movement think the Tea Party candidates will become just like other politicians. 

Just 23% of all voters now say the country is heading in the right direction.  That’s the most pessimistic finding since January 2009.

While a plurality of voters continues to give Obama positive ratings on his handling of national security issues, his ratings on economic issues remain near all-time lows. Only 36% think the president is doing a good or excellent job handling economic issues.

Overall, voters still trust Republicans more than Democrats on the economy and on seven out of the 10 most important issues regularly surveyed by Rasmussen Reports.

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