The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey portrays a broadly pessimistic mood in the country this spring as higher gasoline prices, sliding home values and a disappointing employment picture have raised fresh concerns about the pace of the economic recovery.
By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.
New Post-ABC numbers show Obama leading five of six potential Republican presidential rivals tested in the poll. But he is in a dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who formally announced his 2012 candidacy last week, making jobs and the economy the central issues in his campaign.
Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are knotted at 47 percent each, and among registered voters, the former governor is numerically ahead, 49 percent to 46 percent.
Overall, about six in 10 of those surveyed give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Significantly, nearly half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, including — for the first time — a slim majority who do so strongly.
In another indicator of rapidly shifting views on economic issues, 45 percent trust congressional Republicans over the president when it comes to dealing with the economy, an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March. Still, nearly as many, 42 percent, side with Obama on this issue.
The president has sought to point to progress on the economy, particularly in the automobile industry, and to argue that the policies he put in place at the beginning of his term are working. But the combined effects of weak economic indicators and dissatisfaction among the public are adding to the political pressures on the White House as the president’s advisers look toward what could be a difficult 2012 reelection campaign.
Let's run down the failures of this president to put things right with the economy:
1. Stimulus too small
2. Stimulus gave us garbage like Race to the Top instead of a jobs bill that would have put people to work rebuilding the infrastructure of this country
3. Renominated Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve, doubling down on the print and mint monetary policy
4. Bought into deficit reduction frame of economic story long before recovery took hold, legitimizing all the downsizing that is now leading to mass layoffs and budget cuts which are further damaging a weak economy
5. Held NOT one Wall Street criminal accountable for financial collapse of '08, instead handed out trillions in bailout money and rubberstamped Wall Street criminal activity in the process as A-OK
6. HAMP mortgage mess which made things worse in the housing market for many homeowners
And those are just the ones I can of off the top of my head.
So if the president's re-election chances are going from slam Arne Duncan to ruh-roh Shaggy!, it's really his own fault.
The theme for the administration should have been jobs, jobs, jobs.
It should have been protecting the middle and working classes from the economic ravages of globalism.
It should have been rebuilding this country's infrastructure and putting people to work with good paying jobs while doing it.
Instead we got TALF, HAMP and RttT.
Maybe Obama will get a trip back to RahmEmanueland for his arrogance and short-sightedness.