One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by Republicans is “when is this going to be viewed as Barack Obama’s economy?” After all, GOPers reason, Obama has gotten his stimulus bill, his auto company to play with, and he’s making the nation’s banks dance to the tune he’s calling.
However, it’s clear the public has a great deal of patience. A recent Marist College poll found that 74% believe that current economic conditions are “mostly something Obama inherited,” compared to 18% who say they are “mostly a result of his own policies.”
The data is hardly changed since April, when it was 76% inherited/13% his policies. The crosstabs are more telling — among Independents, it is 68% inherited/19% his policies. Among GOPers, it is 63% inherited/26% his own policies. (For the curious, it’s 88%-10% among Dems).
When GOPers give Obama more than a two-to-one benefit of the doubt, it is clear we have to be patient. On the other hand, we are still a long way from November of 2010.
The President has a lot of leeway, but ultimately, he’s got to produce or the more important question will be — have Obama’s economic policies made things better, made things worse or had no effect? In six months to a year, an answer that is either “had no effect” or “made things worse,” will be problematic for the Democrats. That’s the next measure along these lines to start tracking.