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Wed Jan 25, 2012, 08:03 PM

(NEW) NBC/WSJ Poll: Obama Benefits From Growing Economic Optimism [View all]

By NBC's Domenico Montanaro

Americans are growing more optimistic about the state of the economy and direction of the country, according to a new NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll out Wednesday evening, and President Obama is receiving better grades on his handling of the economy and job as a result.

More people said they believe the economy will get better (37 percent) in the next year rather than worse (17 percent). Thatís the highest level in more than a year and a seven-point jump over last month. It also represents a reversal from October, when 32 percent of Americans said they expected the economy to get worse, versus 21 percent who expected improvement.

"The calendar says itís the dead of winter, but for President Obama, these results must feel like the start of spring," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

The number of people who said the country is headed in the right direction, 30 percent, remains far lower than the 61 percent of U.S. adults who think it is off on the wrong track.



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