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Stimulus slow to be felt

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Many Americans are not yet feeling the effects of the Obama administration’s stimulus package, according to a new Gallup pole. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they believe it has had no effect on the nation’s economy, while 64 percent said the same about their personal financial situation. A smaller number, 28 percent, said the stimulus plan has improved the economy, while 21 percent said it has had the opposite effect. Regarding their personal finances, 14 percent of respondents reported an improvement because of the plan, while 22 percent said they were harmed by it.

Respondents’ views of the long-term effects of the economic stimulus package plan are more optimistic. Almost half, 48 percent, believe the plan will improve the economy in the long term, while 19 percent believe it will have no effect and 31 percent believe it will make matters worse. When it comes to the long-term effects on their personal situation, respondents were less enthusiastic, with 35 percent saying they expect an improvement, 34 percent saying they expect a worsening and 28 percent saying they expect no effect as a result of the stimulus package.

Responses to poll questions seem to break along political lines and reflect respondents’ political leanings more than economics. Republican respondents were far more likely than Democrats to take a dim view of the effects of the Obama plan, while the opposite was true of the Democratic respondents. Independents were evenly divided in their opinions.

When asked an open-ended question regarding when they expect to see a recovery in the economy, 30 percent predict improvement in five or more years, up from 19 percent in February. A total of 68 percent of respondents believe a recovery will take at least two years. The number of respondents expecting a recovery in less than two years, 27 percent, was up 3 percent since February.