In a bit of news that likely will drive Republicans batty, a new Gallup poll shows that many more Americans still blame the nation’s economic woes on George W. Bush than on Barack Obama, more than three years after Obama took office.
When asked, “Thinking about the economic problems currently facing the United States, how much do you blame George W. Bush/Barack Obama—a great deal, a moderate amount, not much, or not at all?” 68 percent of the respondents said they blamed Bush a great deal or a moderate amount, compared to just 52 percent who said the same of Obama. Gallup randomly polled 1,004 adults between June 7-10.
The numbers have not changed much since March 2010, which means they are unlikely to change between now and November.
As Republican challenger Mitt Romney races across the land trying to place the economic woes in Obama’s lap, this poll suggests the public will not be very receptive to the primary message of Romney’s campaign. In fact, according to Gallup, independents—perhaps the most highly sought after voting bloc in the country—are much more likely to blame Bush (67 percent) than to blame Obama (51 percent). Even more alarmingly for Romney, the percentage of independents who blame Obama has actually dropped considerably since last September, when 60 percent of them blamed Obama.
Yesterday, Romney continued to blast away on Obama’s handling of the economy, but he tried to do it with some curious logic, telling a crowd that Obama shouldn’t get any credit for any positive signs in the economy—but should get all the blame for the bad stuff.
Even Republicans in the Gallup poll had a harsher view of George W. Bush than Democrats did of Obama: While 90 percent of Democrats blame Bush a great deal or a moderate amount compared to just 19 percent who blame Obama at that level, 83 percent of Republicans blame Obama while 49 percent give the same level of blame to Bush.
“Obama’s argument that he is on the right track and needs more time to turn the economy around could fall on receptive ears, particularly those of independents,” Gallup pollsters concluded.