According to a new CNN poll released Thursday, Americans see little improvement in the economy, and they know just who to blame. A total of sixty-three percent of registered voters think they are no better off (19%) or are worse off (44%) than they were four years ago; sixty-eight percent say the state of the economy is poor to very poor. But if that sounds like bad news for the current administration, keep reading.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said, “Since President Barack Obama’s first year in office, a majority of Americans have said that former President Bush’s policies were more responsible for current economic problems than Obama’s policies were.” The current poll shows that 57% still hold that opinion. The only groups in the poll whose majorities didn’t support this view were Republicans and conservatives.
Confirmation of the plurality opinion can be found in a recent analysis of the federal deficit by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), based on data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The analysis attributes nearly all of the budget deficit to the policies of the Bush administration, including wars and the infamous tax cuts.
In spite of what seems like a grim perspective on the economy, Americans are actually feeling significantly more optimistic this year over last. Two-thirds of registered voters say conditions will be very or somewhat good a year from now. “That’s a major switch from last year, when six in ten were pessimistic about the economy,” says Holland.
Their optimism was further validated with another announcement made on Thursday. The Federal Reserve said it is going to take the bull by the horns and correct the housing market by buying mortgages whose value it can then adjust. All in all, it looks like a good time for an incumbent to be running for President.