Tonight’s State of the Union address marks the halfway point of President Obama’s first term in office, and the number of voters who blame the president's policies for the country's continuing economic problems is at its lowest level since early October 2009.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters think America's current economic problems are due primarily to the recession which began under the George W. Bush administration. That's the highest finding since October of last year. Just 37% blame the policies of the current president, while 11% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Last month, 50% blamed the Bush administration, and 42% cited Obama’s policies as the cause. Other than in late July of last year when voters were evenly divided over who to blame, most have blamed the Bush administration for the bad economy since regular surveying began on the question in May 2009.
Blame for Bush has run as high as 62% in May 2009 to a low of 47% this past June and July. For Obama, blame has ranged from 27% in May 2009 to 48% in July 2010.
Voters still trust their own judgment on economic issues more than they trust Obama’s. Sixty-one percent (61%) trust their own judgment more, while 26% say they trust Obama more. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided. While these findings have changed little since Obama assumed the White House, this is the lowest level of trust in his economic judgment since last June.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted January 21-22, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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