They’re going to need more tea bags

THEY’RE GOING TO NEED MORE TEA BAGS…. Chances are, White House officials are going to be pleased with the results of the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, which shows President Obama with a surprisingly-high 69% approval rating.

Some of the highlights of from the poll:

* Right Track/Wrong Track: Respondents were asked, “Do you think things in this country are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?” 50% said we’re going in the right direction, up from 8% in October, and the highest number in six years.

* Congress: Asked about the parties’ performances in Congress, 45% approve of the way congressional Democrats are doing their job. For Republicans, it was 30%.

* Institutional confidence: Respondents were asked who leaders’ ability to “make the right decisions for the country’s future.” Just 21% are confident in congressional Republicans. For congressional Democrats, it was 36%. For President Obama, it was 60%.

* Presidential support: In addition to a 69% approval rating, 73% said Obama “understands the problems” of people like them; 77% see him as a strong leader; 73% said he can be trusted in a crisis; 90% said he is “willing to listen to different points of view”; 74% said he’s honest and trustworthy; 60% said he shares the values of the poll respondent; 63% credit him for bringing needed change to Washington; and 56% said he is a good commander-in-chief.

* The handshake: Respondents were asked, “Obama has met or said he’s willing to meet with leaders of foreign countries that have been hostile toward the United States. Do you support or oppose his approach to dealing with such countries? Do you support/oppose this strongly or somewhat?” To the disappoint of Fox News and Republican activists everywhere, 71% support the president’s approach.

* Torture: If there’s one area of disappointment in the poll, it relates to the renewed debate over torture. Americans support Obama’s decision to release the torture memos, but by a narrow margin, 53% to 44%. Asked about whether the U.S. government should or should not torture, the public was largely split — 49% are opposed, 48% said “there are cases in which the United States should consider torture against terrorism suspects.”

Asked about investigating Bush administration officials who may have broken laws related to detainee abuse, 51% said the Obama administration should investigate, 47% disagreed.

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