Public opinion on who is best handling the economy is just about even between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans, according to polls cited by The New York Times
That’s a big drop from December, when most Amercians said Obama was doing a better job during the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. About half of poll respondents said Obama had a better handle on the economy in December and January, while only a third said Republicans did.
A Fox News poll this week found that when “it comes to handling the budget deficit,” Obama had 44 percent of registered voters on his side to the GOP’s 41 percent.
A CNN poll conducted March 15-17 asked respondents who was better handling “the federal budget and the way the government raises and spends money.” Obama held a one percentage point lead: 47-46.
The CNN poll also found less support for Obama today if a government shutdown were to take place. In a September poll, 47 percent said they would blame Republicans for a shutdown compared to about a third who would blame Obama. But the March polls showed that only 40 percent now say they would blame the GOP while the percentage who say they’d blame Obama has jumped to 38 percent.
The Times says it is unclear what has caused Obama’s fall in the polls, though the actual state of the economy does not seem to be the cause. Jobs, housing, and the stock market are all on the upswing.
One possible theory: The administration oversold how bad the effects of sequestration would be and lost credibility with some Americans as a result.
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