Finger-Pointing Reaches Sell-By Date

Since May 2009, Scott Rasmussen has been asking voters what or whom they blame for our economic woes. Until now, a plurality have blamed the Bush administration more than the Obama administration. Today, for the first time, the Obama administration edged ahead: “48% Blame Obama for Bad Economy, 47% Blame Bush.”
Actually, though, that headline is misleading. The body of the story indicates that the choice (as in prior polls) was between “Obama’s policies” and “the recession that began under Bush.” So not all those who voted “Bush” blamed the recession on his administration’s policies.
In any event, the inevitable has happened: President Obama owns the economy. For some time, his blaming the Bush administration for problems that have worsened since he took office has grated. Going forward, that will be even more true.
One more notable point: here, as on nearly every issue, there is a big divide between “mainstream Americans” and the “political class.” Sixty-one percent of mainstream Americans blame the policies of the Obama administration over the recession he inherited, while 87 percent of the political class blame Bush. That’s convenient, of course. A final populist touch: 62 percent of likely voters trust their own judgment more than Obama’s on economic issues. Makes it hard to exert a whole lot of leadership.

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