The Economic Blame Game

Post Barack Obama up against George W. Bush and Americans say Bush is to blame for the current state of the economy (59{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} to Obama’s 25{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) motorshack.co.uk , and the current federal budget deficit (60{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} to Obama’s 22{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).*  Well, sure.  As anyone who’s ever had anything go wrong at the office knows, it’s always easy to pin the blame on the guy who’s not there any more.

But, when the public is asked only to assess President Obama and the effect he and his policies have had on the country, it’s a slightly different story…and one that’s been steadily growing over the last year.

In July 2009, just 32{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of the public said they blame President Obama “a great deal” or “a moderate amount” for the economic problems currently facing the United States, compared to two-thirds (67{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) who said they blame him “not much” or “not at all.”   Eight months later, there has been a significant shift on this measure with the nation split 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} on whether or not they blame him for the country’s economic problems.  And, the percentage saying they blame Obama “a great deal” has almost doubled from 14{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} in July last year to 26{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} today.**

Additionally, back in July 2009, voters were fairly evenly split in their views on the impact of President Obama’s economic policies.  Today, by an eight-point margin, a majority say his policies have run up a record deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.

As time passes, and Americans continue to express high levels of dissatisfaction with the country’s economy, the public is increasingly blaming President Obama for the situation.  Indeed, in April last year 55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} said they approved of how President Obama was handling the economy while 37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} said they disapproved.  Today, Obama has seen that net positive 18-point score drop and reverse to a net negative (47{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} approve, 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapprove).***

Public opinion on how President Obama is dealing with our economic situation is not critical (yet), but there is a clear pattern that’s emerged over the last year.  The closer we get to November the more Democrats need to worry about what percentage of the electorate will vote their pocket books.

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