Americans Blame Bush and the GOP Not Obama for the Economy


A new CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll released today should provide some hope to Democrats and cause a bit of concern for the GOP ahead of the mid term elections. The poll revealed that a majority of Americans (53%) blame George W. Bush and the GOP not Barack Obama and the Democrats for the nation’s current economic problems.

The CNN/ Opinion Dynamics poll asked a very simple question. Who do you hold responsible for the nation’s current economic problems George W. Bush and the GOP, or Barack Obama and the Democrats? Fifty three percent of respondents blamed Bush and the Republicans, while only 33% blamed Obama and the Democrats, 10% blamed both parties, 3% said neither, and 1% were not sure.


Men blame the Republicans over the Democrats, 51%-34%. Women blame the Republicans by and even larger margin, 55%-32%. White people blame Republicans by the smallest margin, 45%-40%. People under 50 years old overwhelmingly blame the Republicans, 56%-29%. Those over 50 years old blame Bush and the GOP by a margin of 49%-38. The only age group that blames Obama and the Democrats are senior citizens, and they only do so by the slightest of margins, 45%-39%.

Not surprisingly Democrats are the most likely to blame Bush and the GOP for the economy, 80%-14, while Republicans are most likely to blame Obama, 64%-21%. Evidence of just how small the GOP tent has gotten can be seen by the fact that Independents blame Bush and the GOP, more than Obama and the Democrats by 21 points, 51%-30%. Moderates also aren’t buying what the GOP is selling as they blame Bush and the GOP even more than Independents, 61%-23%. It is interesting to note that while conservatives blame Obama more, Independents and moderates blame Bush and the GOP by the same or higher margins.

Blame of Bush and the Republicans also cuts across income and education. Those who earn less than $50,000 blame Bush and the GOP by a 56%-31%, and those who earn more than $50,000 pretty much agree that this is Bush and the GOP’s mess by a margin of 52%-36%. In terms of education, those who did not attend college blame Bush and the Republicans, 47%-38%, while those who attended college heavily blame George W. Bush’s and his party, 57%-29%.

Not only would it be wise for Democrats to run on the economy this fall, it might be their only path to saving their majority. The Republican attempt to package the economy as Obama’s fault is not resonating with the American people. This is why the GOP is trying to win the midterm elections by discussing things like healthcare reform. America remembers all too well how the previous Republican administration ran the economy into the ground. In short, try as they might the GOP can’t wash the stink of George W. Bush off of their bodies.

There is a reason why Obama keeps reminding America what George W. Bush did to the economy. Most Americans feel exactly the same way. People aren’t as stupid as the Republicans wish they were. They also understand that Obama is trying to dig the nation out of hole that was created under Republican leadership. If Democrats spend the fall hammering away at the economy, while the GOP tries to revive the culture wars of the 1990s, election night might not be so bad for the Dems, but the caveat remains that moderates and Independents don’t vote in big numbers in the midterms, so the Democrats will have to find a way to energize their base.

You can expect Republicans to keep avoiding the pesky question of what they would do about the economy, and George W. Bush’s will remain the name that shall not be spoken on the campaign trail, but beyond 2010, this poll demonstrates just how far Republicans still have to go in order to be competitive with Obama in 2012. The Republican Party is still a small and shrinking operation, whose message is designed to appeal to the Tea Party, not centrist America. The overarching message of this poll is that while America is not happy with Obama they have no faith in GOP’s ability to fix the economy, as they are still haunted by the ghost of George W. Bush and Republican failures past.

6 Replies to “Americans Blame Bush and the GOP Not Obama for the Economy”

  1. Gee Joey, this is such sad news for the retard^h^h^h^hpublicans. Oh well, I’m sure Sarah and the Tea Baggers will have some smart comment that will make it all better for you…..

  2. Great news: Americans are not as easily manipulated as they once were!

    Let me guess what the GOP economic plan is….tax cuts for the rich. Dems might be far from perfect, but right now they are only sane option for anyone who is not wealthy. And even some wealthy people are not so selfish that they resent giving back. To wit, Warren Buffet.

  3. Great dissection of the poll results, Jason. It should come as a stark reminder to those who are adamant that they “have this in the bag” in NOV. that you shouldn’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

    Democrats need to put on their game face and come out swinging. Do you want more of the old failed policies that got us into this mess or do you want something that is slowly moving us out of it? The Democrats need to start thinking like a top notch marketing/advertising agency. They need to develop simple, short, sweet messages to this end; something really catchy and memorable; and everyone in the party echoing it every every turn. Market the whole “Republicans want to take your social security away” to every senior citizen they can find. If they do that, there is no way they’d lose one seat.

  4. Start a war, cut taxes, run war completely on someone else’s cuff. He raised the cost of oil with his war and that helped kill the economy.

    “There is no question that the Iraq war added substantially to the federal debt. This was the first time in American history that the government cut taxes as it went to war. The result: a war completely funded by borrowing. U.S. debt soared from $6.4 trillion in March 2003 to $10 trillion in 2008 (before the financial crisis); at least a quarter of that increase is directly attributable to the war. And that doesn’t include future health care and disability payments for veterans, which will add another half-trillion dollars to the debt.

    As a result of two costly wars funded by debt, our fiscal house was in dismal shape even before the financial crisis — and those fiscal woes compounded the downturn.”

    “When the United States went to war in Iraq, the price of oil was less than $25 a barrel, and futures markets expected it to remain around that level. With the war, prices started to soar, reaching $140 a barrel by 2008. We believe that the war and its impact on the Middle East, the largest supplier of oil in the world, were major factors. Not only was Iraqi production interrupted, but the instability the war brought to the Middle East dampened investment in the region.

    In calculating our $3 trillion estimate two years ago, we blamed the war for a $5-per-barrel oil price increase. We now believe that a more realistic (if still conservative) estimate of the war’s impact on prices works out to at least $10 per barrel. That would add at least $250 billion in direct costs to our original assessment of the war’s price tag. But the cost of this increase doesn’t stop there: Higher oil prices had a devastating effect on the economy.”

    Bush needs to be in prison along with Cheney. Its unconscionable that Obama let them off. Serious prison time.

  5. they better do something quick or they deserve what they get. The republicans have done so much against America it should be a slam dunk. The bad part is this economic woes will continue for another 10-15 years. In the mean time, the reps voted in, the constitution goes out

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