Democrats, independents and Republican governors love the stimulus

Democratic and independent voters are getting behind the national stimulus package in increasing numbers, according to a new poll — and they’re not the only ones.

The New York Times reports today that Republican governors have refused to adopt the dead-ender approach taken by their congressional colleagues and have embraced the package from statehouses across the nation. Why the quiet schism?

As the Times points out, governors don’t have the luxury of playing at principled opposition because, “unlike members of Congress, they have to balance their budgets each year. …” The Times adds:

… That requires compromise with state legislators, including Democrats, as well as more openness to the occasional state tax increase and to deficit-spending from Washington.

Across the country, from California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger to Florida’s Charlie Crist and New England’s Jim Douglas in Vermont and M. Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Republican governors showed in the stimulus debate that they could be allies with Mr. Obama even as Congressional Republicans spurned him.

Alex Koppleman offers fast analysis of new Gallup Poll numbers in his War Room column at Salon.

[The new poll] provides more evidence to suggest that it’s Democrats, not Republicans, who’ve benefited from the debate over the stimulus. In a survey conducted last week, the pollster found that Congressional approval has jumped by 12 points over the past month, going from 19 percent to 31 percent. Obviously, this is still low, but in context it’s pretty impressive — Congress is almost never popular, and this is the highest level of approval that Gallup has found in almost two years.

The scope of the stimulus package the president is signing into law today is dizzying, the dollar amounts difficult to fully imagine, the projected effects impossible to reliably predict. But Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress have taken action to swing around the enormous listing ship that is our national economy. And it’s telling that elected leaders across partisan lines who don’t enjoy the luxury of not acting have climbed on board and backed the action.

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