Five months ahead of the
presidential election, the U.S. public continue to blame U.S.
economic woes on Former President George W. Bush more than sitting
President Barack Obama who took office over three years ago,
according to a Gallup poll released on Thursday.
About 68 percent of Americans blamed Bush for the nation's economic problems in a great deal or a moderate amount, compared with more than 52 percent ascribed the same level of blame for the bad economy to Obama, virtually the same as last September.
Gallup launched the first "blame assessment" survey in July 2009, six months after Obama took office. At that point, 80 percent and 32 percent of Americans blamed Bush and Obama respectively for the bad economy.
Republicans and Democrats distribute economic blame in different ways. Ninety percent of Democrats blame Bush, in contrast to 19 percent of them who blame Obama. Republicans, however, are more ecumenical in their blame, with 83 percent blaming Obama and 49 percent blaming Bush. Independents are more likely to blame Bush (67 percent) than to blame Obama (51 percent) for the nation's economic problems, a finding that no doubt provides some comfort to the Obama re-election campaign.
Americans continue to name the economy as the most important problem facing the country, and in an election that likely will be defined by a struggling economy, the question of who is responsible for it will weigh heavily in voters' minds, said Frank Newport, Gallup's Editor-in-Chief.
However, it remains to be seen whether Americans are open to further discussion of those issues in the months remaining before the November's presidential election, he said.
Another Gallup poll released Wednesday said only 20 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, a slight decline from recent months.
The economy remains the top issue in the 2012 election. As a result, the incumbent's and the challenger's campaign teams have been warring over who would best lead the U.S. economy. Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign claims the successful private- sector background makes Romney much more suited to improve the economy than the incumbent president. Obama's campaign argues that his administration has improved job creation and economic recovery out of an "inherited burden" left behind by Bush administration, trying to deflect blame away from the president.
However, a survey released by ABC News and The Washington Post on Wednesday found that reaction to Obama's economic proposals was 50 percent negative and 43 percent positive, and for Romney's it was 47 percent negative and 37 percent positive.
There are more discouraging signs for the president's reelection bid amid a still-tough economy, particularly when bad news about May's disappointing job creation hit the campaign trail earlier this month.
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