WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A new CBS News poll finds that less than half of Americans approve of how President Obama is handling the economy.
The poll reveals that only 45 percent of Americans approve of how Obama is dealing with the stagnant economy, compared to 49 percent that disapprove.
The agenda Obama will outline Tuesday during his State of the Union address will include more money for infrastructure, clean energy technologies and manufacturing jobs, as well as expanding access to early childhood education.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would outline “his plan to create jobs and grow the middle class” as the nation struggles with persistently high unemployment.
Some of Obama’s job ideas will be repackaged versions of proposals he made during his first term, though aides say there will be some new initiatives, too. All of the economic proposals are expected to echo themes from Obama’s re-election campaign, which focused on using increased spending to generate jobs, protecting programs to help the middle class, and bringing down the deficit in part by culling more tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans.
Obama has called for raising more revenue through closing tax breaks and loopholes, but he has not detailed a list of targets. He and his aides often mention as examples of unnecessary tax breaks a benefit for owners of private jets and tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. Such measures are modest, however. Ending the corporate plane and oil and gas breaks would generate about $43 billion in revenue over 10 years.
The president’s focus on the economy and deficit reflects the top concerns of many Americans. A Quinnipiac University poll out Monday showed than 35 percent of registered voters are most interested in hearing the president during the State of the Union address the economy, more than any other issue. The federal deficit came in second, with 20 percent saying that was the issue they were most interested in hearing Obama discuss.
The poll also suggested that the slow but steady economic gains throughout Obama’s first term may not be trickling down to many Americans. More than 50 percent of registered voters said they thought the economy was still in a recession and 79 percent described the economy as “not so good” or “poor.”
Despite the worries about the economy, the CBS News poll found that 52 percent of Americans approve of the job the president is doing.
The president will follow up his State of the Union address with three days of travel around the country. He’ll start Wednesday in Asheville, N.C., where he’ll visit Linamar Corp., a supplier of engine and transmission components that has expanded its manufacturing operations.
Obama is expected to reiterate his calls for revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing sector, perhaps reviving his campaign pledge to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs during his second term. Following a sluggish 2012, manufacturing grew at a faster pace last month, driven by an increase in new orders and more hiring at factories.
On Thursday, Obama will press for expanded early childhood education, perhaps going so far as to call for universal pre-school, when he travels to the Atlanta area. He’ll speak at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center, which offers programs for infant, toddler, preschool, and pre-kindergarten students.
The president will also speak about the economy and gun violence Friday in his hometown of Chicago.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)