Voters heading to the polls today are more evenly divided than they have been all year over whether to blame President Barack Obama or his predecessor for the nation’s economic problems. Just under half — 49 percent — of the likely voters polled in a new Rasmussen Reports tally attribute the problems primarily to the recession that started when George W. Bush inhabited the Oval Office.
But 44 percent of the 1,000 voters in the telephone survey Saturday and Sunday believe Obama’s policies should shoulder the blame.
Nearly 60 percent of the voters trust their own judgment more than Obama's when it comes to the major economic issues affecting the nation. Only 31 percent trust the president's judgment more. A majority of voters have trusted themselves more than Obama to handle the economy since June 2009.
When it comes to which party voters trust more to handle the issue of the economy, Republicans hold a 10-point advantage over Democrats, 49-39 percent.
Since Rasmussen Reports began asking the question in late May 2009, voters have blamed Obama's policies more than the Bush recession on only one occasion — in July of this year, and even then, the two were virtually tied. In May 2009, 62 percent blamed Bush, while just 27 percent faulted Obama's policies. This year, the gap between the two presidents, now at 5 percent, has been this small or smaller only in May, June, and July.
The number of voters who blame the Bush-era recession has ranged from 47 to 62 percent, while anywhere from 27 to 48 percent impugn Obama’s policies.
Not surprisingly, 73 percent of Republicans — and 55 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party — blame Obama's policies for the continuing bad economy, while 89 percent of Democrats blame Bush.
Just over 60 percent of Democrats trust Obama's economic judgment more than their own, while 82 percent of GOP voters and 74 percent of people who are not affiliated with a party have more confidence in their own judgment.
As is often the case, there's a sharp divide between the political class and mainstream America: 86 percent of the political class blame the country's economic problems on the recession that began under Bush, while 62 percent of mainstream voters blame Obama's policies more.
Nearly 80 percent of mainstream voters also trust their own economic judgment more than the president's. Political class voters are almost evenly divided on the question.
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