Obama Salary Poll: Most Approve Of President's Giveback, Few Think It's A Sacrifice

04/08/2013 06:12 pm ET

Americans have mixed reactions to President Barack Obama's decision to return a portion of his salary to the U.S. Treasury, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. But the survey found almost universal agreement that members of Congress should do the same thing.

According to the survey, 70 percent of Americans said they approve of Obama giving back 5 percent of his salary, while only 9 percent said they disapprove. Still, only 10 percent of respondents said that Obama was making a "real sacrifice," while 46 percent said it was a "nice gesture" and 35 percent called it a "meaningless political stunt."

The results are likely based more on Americans' spontaneous reaction to the news of the Obama giveback than on their pre-existing opinions. Only 14 percent of respondents said they had heard a lot about the president's decision, while 45 percent said they had heard a little and 41 percent had heard nothing at all.

Eighty-three percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans said they approved of the decision. All three groups were more likely to see it as a nice gesture than a real sacrifice, and 65 percent of Republicans considered it a meaningless political stunt.

But regardless of how they felt about Obama's decision, the vast majority of respondents -- 79 percent -- said they think members of Congress should do the same. That view was shared by 88 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans. Only 7 percent of Americans disagreed.

A Gallup poll released Monday also found that the vast majority of Americans think members of Congress should give back some portion of their salaries -- either 5 percent or 25 percent.

About 15 percent of respondents to another recent HuffPost/YouGov poll volunteered either Obama's or Congress' salaries when asked to name an example of "wasteful government spending."

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted April 4-5 among 1,000 U.S. adults. The poll used a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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