Here’s a depressing poll:
Five years into Obama’s presidency, only a third of the public believes that Obama and the Democrats are primarily responsible for the country’s current economic problems.
More Americans continue to blame former President Bush and the Republicans. But the number who say the GOP is more responsible – now at 44% – has dipped below the 50% mark for the first time since Bush left the White House. Fourteen percent blame both parties equally.
Mind-boggling, isn’t it, how few people blame Obama? Perhaps not, though; propaganda works, after all.
I was interested in seeing how the question was framed, and going to the study itself I found this:
13. Do you think the policies of Barack Obama and the Democrats or George W. Bush and the Republicans are more responsible for the country’s current economic problems?
Seems like a pretty straightforward way to phrase it.
If you look at change over time, however, you will find something interesting: the percentage blaming Obama and the Democrats has been very stable with little variation. In September 2010, 33% of those polled blamed Obama and the Democrats, and between then and now there were five other readings (seven in toto) taken at intervals. These are the figures: 33%, 30%, 29%, 32%, 29%, 35%, 34%. It’s almost as though the vast majority of people made up their minds years ago and that nothing could change it. To about two-thirds of them, Obama will never be responsible for the poor state of the economy no matter what he does or does not do (although perhaps they give him credit for whatever good happens?).
It’s curious. A lot of people on the right will say that this refusal to blame Obama has something to do with his status as the first black president. But I’m not sure this is all that important, although it certainly has some Teflon-ish effect. But I think it has more to do with the fact that most people really are impressionable, don’t think too deeply about things political, and are constantly fed the MSM line that Obama isn’t responsible for problems. Never, never underestimate the power of an incessant media and talking head barrage.
One encouraging thing is the fact that, although the percentage blaming Bush and the Republicans also held remarkably steady through six surveys (from September 2010 to September 2012), and even seemed to increase ever-so-slightly over time (going from oldest to newest in that 2-year period, the figures were 53%, 55%, 57%, 52%, 56%, 57%), in the seventeen months between the September 2012 survey and the current one that percentage has plummeted. It now stands at 44%. However, those who left the “blame Bush and the Republicans” camp did not go over to the “blame Obama and the Democrats” camp; they ended up in the “blame both equally” or “neither” columns.
Interesting, although I’m not sure what to make of it. Perhaps it just reflects the increasing distance in time of the Bush administration and the general waning of hatred against him.
[ADDENDUM: I just noticed this post by William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. We certainly seem to agree about this.]