Obama’s Economic Message Fails In Key CDs

Given two points of view about the President’s economic policies, voters in the key 60 Democratic districts overwhelmingly say that those policies are not working.

The survey was conducted for National Public Radio by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQR) and Public Opinion Strategies in 70 swing districts – 30 Tier One Democratic-held districts, 30 Tier Two Dem-held districts, and 10 Republican districts. The survey was conducted June 7-10, 2010 among 1200 likely voters – 445 in the Tier One Dem seats, 445 in the Tier Two Dem seats, and 310 in the Republican seats.

Only 37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in the Dem districts believe:

“President Obama’s economic policies helped avert an even worse crisis, and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery.”

While 57{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} say:

“President Obama’s economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.”

We win that argument 58{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-33 among Independents, and 87{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-12{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} among Republicans. Even three in ten Dems don’t buy the Obama message (29{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-65{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}). It’s also a great message for us among undecided voters on the congressional ballot – working 63{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in our favor.

The argument that Obama and the Democrats are going to want to have is not whether or not his policies are working (the data above shows they are losing that argument). Instead, they will want to make the case that:

“Former President Bush is more responsible for the problems with the economy.” (48{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222})

 …compared to…

“President Obama is more responsible for the problems with the economy.” (36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222})

We’ll want to make the case that this not about the past, but about the future. And, Obama’s economic policies are running up debt while stifling job creation. And, the further we get from 2008, the more difficult it is going to be for Obama to blame Bush – although it is the only card he has to play.

(The analysis and opinions in this blog post is solely the views of Glen Bolger, and does not reflect analysis or opinions of either NPR or GQR.)

Public Opinion Strategies