The Hill conducted a poll on July 9 among likely voters, and found that ???two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington???s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else.??? Specifically, 53 percent of respondents thought ???Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down,??? compared to a (still astonishing) 42 percent who say he???s ???taken the right actions to revive the economy.???
Only 26 percent believe the slow pace of the recovery was unavoidable, detonating another Obama campaign talking point. A mere 18 percent believed this was all George Bush???s fault.
There was plenty of grumbling about Congress too, continuing the public???s bipartisan tendency to dislike the institution. Congress is viewed as the grand theater of partisan wrangling, which even highly partisan voters invariably claim to dislike. Almost everyone thinks Congress should stop bickering and work together to solve the country???s problems, but of course the definition of ???work together??? varies widely from voter to voter, and generally involves surrender by whichever side of the partisan debate he dislikes.
President Obama can take some comfort in knowing that media bias is still fantastically valuable to him. The Hill???s poll shows him doing much better among self-described ???centrists,??? who seem curiously willing to endorse the most non-centrist expansion of government power in a generation. Further, 79 percent of these ???centrists??? blamed Republicans in Congress for the economic slowdown.
That???s a stunning testimonial to the power of slanted journalism, as the Republicans have put dozens of pro-growth proposals into the Senate, only to see them blocked repeatedly by Harry Reid and his do-nothing Democrat caucus. Most of these low-information ???centrists??? don???t know that ??? they only hear President Obama???s loud, often-repeated complaints about Republican ???obstructionism.??? If Harry Reid were Republican, he would be one of the most well-known and intensely criticized Senate Majority Leaders of the age, widely caricatured as a human roadblock standing in the way of fresh ideas pouring from a Democrat House. If Obama were Republican, you would never hear a single account of his complaints about “obstructionism” that did not also mention the large number of Democrat bills killed by the Senate.
One may also look at poll results like these and wonder just how ???centrist??? these self-described centrists really are. Granted, the grand strategy of politics involves moving the center to the left or right, dragging along the mass of disconnected voters whose primary concern is avoiding the appearance of partisan closed-mindedness. The center has been drawn steadily leftward for quite some time, but it hasn???t moved that far since 2008.
Still, it???s generally bad news for Obama that his attempts to shift blame for the economy seem to be gaining little traction with the electorate, which is generally less inclined to tolerate finger-pointing from any President of any partisan affiliation as the end of his first term approaches.
Another indication that the public is rejecting Obama???s world-view arrives from the Rasmussen polling firm, which finds that 72 percent of likely voters ???believe that people who start small businesses are primarily responsible for their success or failure,??? while only 13 percent disagree. Other recent Rasmussen polls showed 70 percent of voters preferred the free market to a government-managed economy, and 57 percent said venture capital firms were better job creators than government programs. Broadly speaking, the public doesn???t seem to be buying into the Obama campaign narrative, and his $58 million ultra-negative post-primary free shot at Mitt Romney is coming to an end.