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Voters Blame Obama More Than Bush for Poor Economy

President Obama’s first term has coincided with the longest period of sustained economic misery in decades, but for the better part of four years, the president has always had one line to fall back on: It’s Bush’s fault, not mine. And for most of that time, the voters have seemed to agree.

This may be changing. A new poll at The Hill asked voters who is most to blame for the economy, and the voters said the buck stops at the White House:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

Among major polls, these findings are a first. And the news gets worse for the president: the poll found that more than half of respondents believe that Obama has taken the wrong steps to turn the economy around, a poor sign for public trust in his economic stewardship.

The implications of these results for the upcoming election are obvious. Current polls still show Obama ahead of Romney by a decent margin, although the president doubtless wishes it were higher. But if the economy continues to stagnate or get worse—as many think it might—the drapes in the Oval Office may be in for another change come next January.

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  • Jim.

    Professor, could you repost the graph that traced the trajectory of all post-WWII recessions? The one that shows Obama’s recession lasting far longer than any of the other recessions (including GWB’s dot-com bust?)

    Keynsians should have that graph stamped on the backs of their hands, to remind them how ineffective their ideology is.

  • Corlyss

    Well, it’s a start . . .

    Who cares if voters find the Big Zero more likable than the governor from Bain? I dowanna have a beer with the President, I want someone that is more adult and knows more important stuff than the Big Zero, someone who roughly approximates a leader.

  • An

    Annual trillion dollar deficits till the eyes can see will do that.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Obama and the Democrats are completely to blame for the bad economy. Great Depression 2.0 can be directly traced to the Democrats huge deficit spending when they took control of congress in 2007 and immediately started spending with their first budget deficit of $485 Billion. By the end of 2008 the amount of money being sucked out of the capital markets, where it would have been loaned to consumers and businesses to create jobs, had crashed the economy and the continued massive deficit spending has kept it there. Great Depression 2.0 is Obama’s and the Democrats fault without a doubt.

  • Kris

    Jim@1: “Keynsians should have that graph stamped on the backs of their hands, to remind them how ineffective their ideology is.”

    Poor innocent Jim. The graph clearly proves that the stimulus wasn’t big enough!


    (Not that I object to the principle of having things stamped on the back of their hands.)

  • Lorenz Gude

    I would have to answer the poll question with “All of the above” with the addition that both Bush’s Republican Congress and the Democratic congress since 2006 in collusion with Wall St. are the cause of the problem and both Bush and Obama are guilty of being totally ineffective at stopping them.

  • thibaud

    Here’s the Keynesian candidate’s views on slashing spending in 2013:

    TIME/ Mark Halperin: “Why not in the first year, if you’re elected — why not in 2013, go all the way and propose the kind of budget with spending restraints, that you’d like to see after four years in office? Why not do it more quickly?”

    Mitt Romney: “Well because, if you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.”

    Of course!

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