There has been much debate as to whether the $787 billion stimulus package is working or not. As usual, Scott Rasmussen comes to the rescue with polls that ask the question:

Has the Economic Stimulus Plan helped or hurt the Economy?

As usual, the results are interesting. For the first time since the polling began in June, a plurality of the public says that the Stimulus Plan has hurt the economy.

The numbers to look at are the independents as well as men. Democrats show an interesting trend over the last five months as well.

Overall

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 29.51% / 37.74% / 28.10% / 4.65%
11/17 – 11/18 / 35.61% / 33.65% / 23.69% / 7.05%
10/20 – 10/21 / 32.80% / 31.27% / 29.13% / 6.80%
09/18 – 09/19 / 36.24% / 28.11% / 28.12% / 7.53%
08/18 – 08/19 / 32.91% / 30.43% / 29.55% / 7.11%
07/20 – 07/21 / 24.98% / 31.40% / 35.79% / 7.83%
06/23 – 06/24 / 31.44% / 29.80% / 30.69% / 8.07%

Please notice the trends among this data. “Help” appears to have been consistently in the low to mid 30% range until this month. At that time, the percentage of people who think that the stimulus package is helping the economy appears to be decreasing. I do understand that in July there was an an apparent outlier among “help” but the difference appears in the “no impact” category. So, I truly don’t think that July was an outlier.

The question that DOES need to be answered is whether December was an outlier or not. My analysis is that it is NOT an outlier. The data appears to show an upturn in the “hurt” category since September and a steady (except for November) “no impact” category. The category to notice, however, is the “not sure” category. It appears as if people are starting to make a decision as to whether the stimulus plan has been working or not … and the decision appears to be that it is NOT working.

This analysis will need to be confirmed in January but my initial analysis is that public opinion is changing against the stimulus package.

BTW, some people may interpret July as the first time that the plurality of people said that the stimulus package hurt the economy. That month, the plurality was “no impact.” Plurality meaning the category with the largest percentage.


Republican

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 12.86% / 46.71% / 34.74% / 5.69%
11/17 – 11/18 / 13.63% / 53.91% / 27.68% / 4.78%
10/20 – 10/21 / 13.39% / 46.19% / 33.27% / 7.15%
09/18 – 09/19 / 18.73% / 41.44% / 34.87% / 4.96%
08/18 – 08/19 / 13.41% / 43.76% / 38.22% / 4.61%
07/20 – 07/21 / 04.66% / 49.84% / 38.92% / 6.58%
06/23 – 06/24 / 15.16% / 46.55% / 31.75% / 6.54%

Notice the consistency among this data. Interestingly the “hurt” category has returned to the mid 40% range. I suspect that the mid 40% range is the norm.


Democrats

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 51.42% / 17.98% / 25.79% / 04.81%
11/17 – 11/18 / 57.88% / 12.77% / 20.10% / 09.25%
10/20 – 10/21 / 58.16% / 14.07% / 22.26% / 05.51%
09/18 – 09/19 / 60.77% / 08.99% / 18.03% / 12.21%
08/18 – 08/19 / 55.24% / 12.18% / 24.73% / 07.85%
07/20 – 07/21 / 41.04% / 16.04% / 32.43% / 10.49%
06/23 – 06/24 / 46.40% / 14.68% / 31.68% / 07.24%

Relatively consistent numbers until December. “Help” decreased rather significantly and “hurt” increased rather significantly. “Not sure” is drifting toward “no impact” and some “no impact” are drifting towards “hurt.”

Yup. The question is whether this was caused by an outlier among democrats. We will need to wait a month to find out.


Independents

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 20.59% / 52.45% / 23.65% / 3.31%
11/17 – 11/18 / 31.98% / 37.42% / 23.78% / 6.82%
10/20 – 10/21 / 22.55% / 36.32% / 33.12% / 8.01%
09/18 – 09/19 / 24.82% / 37.36% / 33.33% / 4.49%
08/18 – 08/19 / 25.71% / 39.28% / 26.05% / 8.96%
07/20 – 07/21 / 23.82% / 33.65% / 37.27% / 5.26%
06/23 – 06/24 / 29.84% / 31.05% / 27.91% / 11.20%

Now, we have some interesting data. The “hurt” category has skyrocketed. Is this an outlier? The data does seem to say that it is an outlier. Percentages don’t change that drastically over the course of a month.

However, and it is a BIG HOWEVER, look at July through October and compare the “help” category. This shows that November was the outlier among “help.” This also shows that the “hurt” category was just a shift from “no impact” and “not sure.” Thus, I am not sure that it is an outlier.

The caveat is that we will still need to wait a month to verify this shift is support.


Men

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 26.50% / 41.55% / 28.52% / 3.43%
11/17 – 11/18 / 33.71% / 38.08% / 24.27% / 3.94%
10/20 – 10/21 / 34.75% / 31.94% / 27.48% / 5.83%
09/18 – 09/19 / 36.14% / 26.13% / 32.06% / 5.67%
08/18 – 08/19 / 30.53% / 32.33% / 29.63% / 7.51%
07/20 – 07/21 / 25.40% / 28.57% / 40.80% / 5.23%
06/23 – 06/24 / 31.18% / 31.79% / 31.32% / 5.71%

Ah, here is the shift. Men are starting to think that the stimulus plan is “hurting” the economy. No question. The “hurt” category has increased each of the last two surveys. Some “help” appears to have drifted into the “no impact” category and some “no impact” appears to have drifted into the “hurt” category.

This is significant. We will need to look for the numbers in January.


Women

Timespan : Help : Hurt : … No … : Not Sure
Timespan : Help : Hurt : Impact : Not Sure

12/20 – 12/21 / 32.09% / 34.49% / 27.73% / 5.69%
11/17 – 11/18 / 37.23% / 29.86% / 23.19% / 9.72%
10/20 – 10/21 / 31.05% / 30.67% / 30.61% / 7.67%
09/18 – 09/19 / 36.31% / 29.74% / 24.87% / 9.08%
08/18 – 08/19 / 34.92% / 28.84% / 29.48% / 6.76%
07/20 – 07/21 / 24.61% / 33.96% / 31.28% / 10.15%
06/23 – 06/24 / 31.66% / 28.11% / 30.16% / 10.07%

Women are fairly consistent. Their percentage for “help” appears to be in the low to mid 30% range. “Hurt” has increased slightly but it is within the MOE. “Not sure” has decreased.

People appear to be making a decision as to the success of the stimulus plan. Obviously, we will need to wait a month for confirmation, but I think that the tide has turned. The percentage of people who think that the plan has “hurt” has increased.