James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Poll: ‘Blame Bush’ running out of steam

Jun 22, 2009 14:08 UTC

From Rasmussen:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of voters now say the country’s economic problems are caused more by the policies Obama has put in place. That’s a 12-point jump from a month ago.

Fifty-four percent (54%) still say the country’s economic woes are due to the recession Obama inherited from President Bush. That figure is down eight points from 62% from early June.

By a two-to-one margin, voters also have more confidence in themselves than in the president when it comes to the economy. This marks a significant shift from just after Obama took office.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters now trust their own economic judgment more than the president’s. In early February, 49% had more trust in themselves while 39% trusted the president more.

The Democrats’ 2010 unemployment trap

Jun 4, 2009 16:25 UTC

In the WSJ today, Karl Rove notices that the unemployment rate may still be really, really high on Election Day 2010: “The difficulty for Mr. Obama will be when the public sees where his decisions lead — higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, sluggish growth, and a jobless recovery.”

Me: I have been saying for awhile that voters in the congressional midterm elections are more likely than not to think the U.S. economy still stinks — even if GDP is expanding at a steady clip. Unemployment could be around 10 percent with both inflation and interest rates on the rise.

Certainly the recent history of U.S. elections is that the party in power gets blamed. The classic example is 1992. The unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, still close to the cyclical high of 7.8 percent, even though the economy had been expanding steadily since the second quarter of 1991. President George Bush lost to Gov. Bill Clinton handily. Even by 1994, voters thought the economy still dodgy and voted the GOP back into power in Congress. Two things the Dems have going for them is that 1) the GOP has to protect more Senate seats and 2) high-tech redistricting methods have made huge swings on the House less likely.


Tomorrow’s figures will finally prove once and for all what every journalist was saying about the Obama economic policies and plans. The criminals will no longer, those who remained, have any place to hide as the truth in a third party report, and I honestly hope it will be the truth, will rove everything that has been said by analysts for the last 3 years. We are all waiting to see the financial “GUM”, great unwashed/unwilling massaes, investment direction to hedge the mess that will be revealed tomorrow.