Politico Poll: 60% Say Country's Off Track

Monday, 16 May 2011 11:46 AM

By Dan Weil

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This won’t make President Barack Obama or incumbents in Congress feel too good. A new poll from Politico-George Washington University finds that 60 percent of voters believe the country is on the wrong track. And 61 percent of independents feel that way – particularly bad news for Obama, who will need the support of independents to be re-elected.

The most common emotion voters say they feel about the country’s direction is concerned, chosen by 33 percent, and then frustrated, selected by 21 percent.

As for the issues voters see as most important, 28 percent choose the economy and jobs, and 20 percent opt for government spending and the budget deficit. Although Obama’s overall approval rating has risen to 52 percent because of the killing of Osama bin Laden, his numbers on the economy are much worse.

The survey shows 57 percent of voters disapprove of his handling of the economy and jobs.

Although the recession officially ended in June 2009, it clearly doesn’t feel that way for the many people worried about job security and the rising price of food and gasoline. A new poll conducted for The Hill thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/161307-hill-poll-voters-find-recession-blues-hard-to-shake shows that 46 percent of voters feel worse off than they did a year ago, far exceeding the 16 percent who feel better off. Meanwhile, 36 percent say their personal financial situation remains about the same.

The poll also shows that voters prefer spending cuts over tax increases as the way to slash the exploding budget deficit and government debt burden. While 45 percent support spending cuts alone, only 13 percent favor an even split between spending cuts and tax increases. Only 28 percent say they would accept paying higher taxes personally to shrink the deficit, and 56 percent say they would not.

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