What seems obvious to us is news to Washington pundits:
A majority of Americans believe that former President George W. Bush is more responsible than President Obama for the current economic problems in the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said that Bush was more to blame while 29 percent put the blame on Obama; 9 percent said both men deserved blame while 6 percent said neither did. Among registered voters, the numbers are almost identical; 54 percent blame Bush, while 30 percent blame Obama.
Independents, widely considered the most critical voting bloc this fall, continue to blame Bush far more than Obama for the economic troubles. Fifty-seven percent of unaffiliated voters put the blame on the former Republican president, while 25 percent believe the blame rests more with Obama.
Heck, even one in five Republicans say Bush is more responsible than Obama for the state of the economy!
Why do i say it's news?
We've written for quite some time that the longer Obama is in office (and the longer Bush is out of it), the more likely it is that blame for the economy would shift toward him. But, these numbers suggest -- gasp! -- we were wrong.
Yes, you were. But credit Chris Cillizza for saying so.
And that's not all. From CBS/NY Times :
The public is not assigning blame equally between President Obama and Republicans in Congress for the partisan gridlock over key legislation.
In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, 60 percent say Mr. Obama is attempting to work with Congressional Republicans to try to accomplish something; 27 percent say Republicans in Congress are making the same effort to work things out with the president.
There is strong public support for politicians to start cooperating. At least 80 percent -- regardless of party identification -- say Republicans and Democrats should compromise some of their positions in order to get things done.
You can fool the voters some of the time, but you can't fool the voters all of the time. The idea that Obama is doomed because the unemployment rate is xx% is a bit too simplistic. It's hurting him, but there's a lot more going on than just a number, and it's pretty clear the public wants better but doesn't blame Obama for getting us into this mess. That's a wasted effort on Republicans' part.