Opinion: New poll to Obama: It’s the economy, stupid!

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Just when President Obama thought he saw a little light in the tunnel as slightly fewer Americans want to trash his beloved healthcare plan, out comes a new ABC News/Washington Post Poll showing most Americans would now like to see a Republican Congress as a check on the chief exec from Illinois.

For more than a year now, throughout those endless months of healthcare town halls by the dozens, polls have shown Americans’ top concern to be the economy and jobs.


Now, this morning, with less than four months to go before his first midterm election, a growing number of voters appear to be preparing to take political revenge for such White House inattention.

The same poll shows approval of Obama’s job on the economy has dropped 7 points in only one month, from 50% to 43%, his lowest level yet.

Meanwhile, 54% disapprove, a new high.

Despite the $787-billion stimulus bill and proclamations of a ‘recovery summer,’ unemployment stands at 9.5%, when the stimulus spending was supposed to hold it to 8%.

Democrats are most threatened by that revenge because over the last four years they had built commanding majorities in both houses of Congress. So they now have the most to lose. Which doesn’t mean Republican incumbents are safe, either.

Despite the Obama administration’s professions of economic improvement and frequent heaping of copious blame on eight years of failed you-know-what by you-know-who, only 27% of Americans see any improvement. You-know-who’s father -- you-know-who-senior -- well remembers his 1992 claim that the economy was improving when it really wasn’t. That was a large reason behind that Republican prematurely becoming a former president, replaced by Bill ‘It’s the Economy, Stupid’ Clinton.

In 1994 then, Clinton himself went on to a stinging defeat in his first midterm elections, losing both houses of Congress for the first time in some 40 years in the so-called Republican Revolution engineered by the likes of Haley Barbour and Newt Gingrich. Who are still around.

A similar Rasmussen Reports poll found almost identical dissatisfaction numbers: 50% rating Obama’s economic performance as poor, only 28% seeing improvement and 48% actually believing the economy is worsening.

The good news for Obama is, if he loses the House, because so many Democrats there honored his requests to vote for healthcare, then the Democratic president will have a Republican House to blame for the deficits and economic ills leading up to the 2012 presidential race.


Oh, wait though. Part of Obama’s 2008 change to believe in was his promise of an end to Washington’s partisan rancor. So how could he break that promise too?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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