The Washington Post

Poll watchers: Space shuttle popular, Jews (still) back Obama

-- Has the space shuttle program been a good investment?: Most Americans think so. Fully 55 percent of adults say the shuttle program has been a good investment for the country while 36 percent say it’s been a bad bet, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Tuesday. Ratings of the program are lower than in the 1980s, when as many as seven in 10 said it was a good investment. While heavy majorities of higher income and college educated respondents say the program has been a good investment, those with lower incomes and less education are more evenly split.

-- Jews don’t sour on Obama after Israel speech: While Barack Obama’s high profile speech on Israel in May drew sharply negative responses from the Israeli government, Gallup polls find virtually no change in presidential approval among American Jews in polling before and after the speech. Fully 65 percent of those polled approved of Obama in the six weeks leading up to the May 19 speach, roughly the same as 62 percent who approved of him in polls following the speech. Among Jewish Democrats, 86 percent approved of Obama before the speech; 85 percent after.

--Wobbly support for balanced budget amendment: More than seven in 10 registered voters favor a constitutional amendment that would require the federal government to produce a balanced budget, but support drops to the low 30s if it results in broad based tax hikes or major cuts to Social Security and Medicare, according to a Fox News poll released last week. These results jibe with a March NBC/WSJ poll that found little appetite for a balanced budget amendment that is coupled with major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or veterans benefits.

Scott Clement is the polling manager at The Washington Post, specializing in public opinion about politics, election campaigns and public policy.

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