Polls show Republicans sinking on key issues

Polls show Obama with a firm lead over Republicans on immigration, gun control and the budget

Published February 21, 2013 2:05PM (EST)

According to two new polls, most Americans are in favor of President Obama's approach to key issues like the budget, gun control and immigration.

A USA Today/Pew Research poll released Thursday shows Obama with a strong lead over Republicans in Congress on gun policies (45-39 percent), the budget deficit (45-38 percent), immigration (50-33 percent) and even climate change (47-26 percent).

"On many of the issues, President Obama has staked out positions that seem to be closer to the public's thinking than the positions Republicans have staked out," said Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, in a statement on the poll. "The challenge for him is in building the public's sense of immediacy on some of these issues, particularly on climate change and guns."

In addition, the poll finds that only 22 percent of Americans even identify themselves as Republicans, almost a record low.

A Bloomberg poll from Wednesday had similar findings, with Obama's approval ratings reaching a three-year high at 55 percent, while just 35 percent have a favorable view of Republicans. From Bloomberg:

Americans by 49 percent to 44 percent believe Obama’s proposals for government spending on infrastructure, education and alternative energy are more likely to create jobs than Republican calls to cut spending and taxes to build business confidence and spur employment.

To add to Republican troubles: 43 percent of Americans blame Republicans for what's wrong in Washington, compared with 34 percent who blame Obama.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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