The Washington Post

#Pollwatch: Perry vs. Romney in S.C., and what parts of Obama’s Jobs act are popular?

New favorability numbers for President Obama, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, a Post-Pew poll on the public’s views of the Israel-Palestinian relationship and how President Obama is managing it (he spoke to the U.N. this morning), and two new polls offer clear looks at the critical South Carolina GOP primary and one of Obama’s key reelection pitches: the American Jobs Act. Follow up-to-date polling news @postpolls on twitter and using the hashtag #pollwatch.

1. Perry and Romney close in S.C. — Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney split 31-27 percent – within the margin of error – among Republicans who say they’ll definitely vote in the state’s February primary election, according to a Winthrop University poll released Tuesday. No other candidate breaks double digits.

The tight race bodes well for Romney as South Carolina’s GOP electorate is flush with groups that favor Perry heavily over Romney in national polls. For instance, evangelical Christian voters made up 60 percent of voters in the 2008 GOP primary according to exit polls. In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, Perry leads Romney 36 to 19 percent among this key group.

2. Obama’s Jobs Act popular — Strong majorities of Americans favor most of the spending proposals in President Obama’s American Jobs Act in a Gallup poll released Tuesday. And similar to polls before Obama announced his plans, more than six in 10 adults support two proposals to pay for the program that have received strong criticism from congressional Republicans — increasing taxes on corporations and on families making more than $250,000 (Obama’s proposal adds a new tax on millionaires and also counts on the Bush tax cuts expiring next year).

What are the most popular parts of the bill? Fully 85 percent favor tax cuts for small businesses and to hire workers; 75 percent favor upping funding for teachers, police,and firefighters; 73 percent favor tax breaks for companies hiring unemployed workers and 72 percent support new funds to repair schools. Extending unemployment earns 56 percent support, but the public is divided 47-49 (favor-oppose) on reducing Social Security taxes for workers and employers.

Other new and interesting polls? Take to the comment section or tweet @postpolls.

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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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