• Obama and the budget – As President Obama rolls out new plans for deficit cutting his approval ratings hover just below the 50-percent-mark in April polling from CNN, Fox News, NBC/Wall Street Journal and Pew. As has been the case for months, his ratings are lower on dealing with the deficit, mainly below 40 percent in national polls in March.
But new polling from CNN suggests Obama has a slight advantage over Republicans in Congress when it comes to budget cutting. By a narrow 48 to 43 percent more prefer Obama to deal with the tough choices in cutting programs to reduce the deficit. In March the two sides were about even on this issue. (Post-ABC polling in March also found an even split between Obama and the Republicans striking the right balance in budget cutting.) In the CNN poll, a growing number thinks Republican proposals for spending cuts go too far, a majority thinks their proposals will be unfair to some groups, and nearly seven in 10 think GOP cuts will affect them personally.
• More reactions to budget deal – A new Gallup poll finds bi-partisan approval for the budget deal reached late Friday evening. Overall, 62 percent approve of the agreement that prevented a federal government shutdown. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents approve – a rarity for any issue in Washington. But a majority also says that neither side came out victorious in the dealings.
• Pew offers a good summary of public attitudes on the deficit.
• Health care reform – Support for the health care reforms enacted in March 2010 moved to 35 percent, the lowest level in AP polling, but near the 38 percent support in November. Forty-five percent now oppose it; that’s been higher in earlier polls — up to 50 percent last spring. A growing number, now at 17 percent, fall somewhere in the middle.