Voters’ worries about Obama’s economy rise

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
Font Size:

House GOP leaders are betting that President Barack Obama’s economy — as well as Obamacare — will drag Democrats down in November, and Gallup is providing new evidence to bolster their strategy.

“More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years,” Gallup announced Wednesday.

“Just more than a third of Americans [35 percent] say their financial situation has improved from a year ago,” Gallup reported.

The percentage of Americans who think 2014 will be a good year for their finances has dropped from 66 percent in late 2013 to 55 percent in early January, Gallup said.

The Gallup report helps explain the recent sharp drop in Obama’s polls, and adds to other evidence suggesting that public is shrugging off Obama’s persistent claims that President George W. Bush’s policies are still dominating the economy.

“It’s been more than five years since a devastating recession cost this country millions of jobs, and it hurt North Carolina pretty tough,” Obama said during a Thursday speech in North Carolina.

“I say this can be a breakthrough year for America [and] the pieces are all there to start bringing back more of the jobs that we’ve lost over the past decade,” he insisted.

On Jan. 13, GOP House Speaker John Boehner cited a November survey showing that a near-majority of Americans blame the bad economy on Obama’s policies, instead of President George W. Bush’s policies.

Forty-nine percent of respondents blamed Obama, while 41 percent blamed Bush, according to a November survey by the Winston Group.

In November 2012, only 41 percent of people blamed “the economic policies of the present,” while 53 percent blamed “the politics of the past,” the group said.

“For the first time, a majority of Americans now say they believe the troubles in our economy are more the result of the policies of the present than the policies of the past,” Boehner said Jan 13, according to The Hill newspaper.

“Since he can’t blame George W. Bush anymore, the president has chosen to talk about rising income inequality, unemployment, and the need to extend emergency unemployment benefits,” Boehner said.

“After five years in office, Barack Obama still doesn’t have an answer to the question: Where are the jobs?” he declared.

Democrats are hoping the economy improves, and are also boosting issues — such as a raise in the minimum wage — in the hope that the public blames the GOP for the failure of Obama’s economic policies and his Obamacare takeover.

Follow Neil on Twitter