THEY’RE GOING TO NEED MORE TEA BAGS…. When it comes to public opinion on volatile issues like the economy, poll numbers can turn pretty quickly. For now, however, the White House has to be pleased with the support it currently enjoys.


A new Gallup poll released this morning shows 71% of Americans “have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in President Obama to do or recommend the right thing for the economy.” Just over half (51%) say the same about Democratic leaders in Congress, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner have the confidence of 49% and 47% of the public, respectively.

Republican leaders in Congress are pretty far behind, with only 38% of the public having confidence in the minority party’s economic policies.

Given the GOP’s calls for a five-year spending freeze, the 38% figure is almost certainly too high, but with Republicans’ numbers about half that of the president’s, it seems the right’s criticism isn’t connecting outside of the party’s base.

What’s more, Gallup added, “Democrats have more faith in their leaders than Republicans do in theirs. Seventy-nine percent of Democrats say they have confidence in the Democratic leaders in Congress on the economy. Although this is lower than the confidence Democrats have in Obama, it is higher than the 57% confidence rating Republicans give the Republican leaders in Congress.”

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.