Poll: Majority of Americans blame Obama for economy
September 21st, 2011
07:12 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Majority of Americans blame Obama for economy

Washington (CNN) - For the first time ever, a slight majority of Americans blame President Barack Obama for the country's struggling economy, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday.

But the same poll showed even more Americans fault former President George W. Bush, a trend that's remained since Bush left the White House in January 2009 amid the recession.

When asked how much responsibility Obama bears for the economy's conditions, about 53 percent blamed Obama either a great deal or a moderate amount. That number is up from the roughly 32 percent who gave the same answer six months after Obama took office in 2009.

The poll results come two weeks after Obama announced his jobs plan, a $447 billion proposal aimed at jumpstarting job growth.

But in the public's eye, Bush shoulders more of the burden when it comes to the economy, with nearly seven in 10 Americans blaming the former president either a great deal or a moderate amount. That number is down from 80 percent who assigned fault to Bush six months after he finished his second term in 2009.

The stronger blame on Bush mirrors results from a CNN/ORC International Poll in late July. When asked to choose whether Obama and the Democrats or Bush and the Republicans were more responsible for the country's current economic problems, about 57 percent chose Bush, while 29 percent picked Obama.

Bush's term ended soon after his administration backed federal bailouts to aid the banking and housing industries.

For the survey, Gallup interviewed 1,004 adults over the phone Sept. 15-18, with a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted July 18-20, with 1,009 adult Americans, questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Also see:
Obama jobs bill still waits for action in the Senate

Obama 2012 touts end of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Has Obama lost the Jewish vote?

Filed under: Economy • George W. Bush • Jobs • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Jake

    I do not blame Obama. And if the Republicans honestly think they sit out on the sidelines until Nov 2012 hoping for the country to crumble so they can get elected? some of us are paying attention!

    September 21, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  2. Martha in CF

    You have got to be kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama is to blame for the mess we are in? Bush destroyed the economy by going to two wars that were not paid for......changed the taxing for his rich buddies...you name it...........

    September 21, 2011 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. GetErDonee

    Well, he did voluntarily take the job with promises that he could fix everything. His gold finger touched the economy and it became his baby. So now he has no one to blame but himself. However, I don't believe he has ever, in all his thousands of hours of talking – ever even hinted that anything that has occurred since coming to office is possibly his fault. What a dork.

    September 21, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    I don't buy into polls. Since this the date of this poll. More of us now know the GOP & fiscal terrorists in the "Do Nothing" Congress who gave $200,000 for squirrels (Tenn.) & $260,000 for Corvette simulator (Ky) and their "No to Every thing" policy is the reason for the current stall in the economy. Cantor didn't even want help his own state with playing politics.

    September 21, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. zb

    Lets see, the Bush/Republican/tparty drives the economy over a cliff with tax cuts to the wealthy, deregulating the financial industry and lying their way into an unfunded war while Obama saves us from going into depression but still the economy is his fault? What drug are those people doing? Clearly the only real problem with America are the ignorant morons living it. Go ahead vote for the lunatics who got us into the mess in the first place.

    September 21, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Reggie from LA

    Yeah, I know. Obama just keeps spending and spending on stuff like wars and...no wait. He's trying to clean that up. What about the bail outs. That was his idea...no, that was someone else. I got it. Stimulus. He spent stimulus money. I know it helped at a time when the nation was sinking fast, but I don't care. Our leaders and Fox say Obama is just spending. I'm not sure what he's spending it all on, but if they say it, I'm behind them and I am not going to blame Bush no matter what. "What would you like for Obama to improve the economy?" I know. Give money to job creators. They will fix everything. IDIOTS!!

    September 21, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. artwitch

    Its sad – it means that a majority of the population is mentally handicapped and has a very short memory. This is GW's great work of art and there is not a person on the planet who could get us out of this mess in less than 4 years, as Barak mentioned when he took office. For those who thought he was going to wave a magic wand and cure the worlds recession in a few months – well your disillusioned, which explains why your republicans.

    September 21, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. terry,va

    I am amazed that it took over 2 1/2 years into Obummie's term that people now see him for what he is. All show and no action. The rest of the people that don't blame him for the country going down the tubes are the people with their hand out waiting on Obummie foodstamps and welfare money.

    September 21, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. beevee

    This kind of polls are meaningless unless the pollsters also ask the question whether the current president inherited a larger economic messthan he anticipated from the previous president and whether the GOP majority congress genuinely wants americans to get out of the fiscal fiasco under Obam's watch. Or wait until the voters' frustration is vented by not reelecting president Obama for a seocnd term?

    September 21, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  10. Sonnie2

    Hard to believe after three years with obama, that it is still Bushes fault. It don't look like obama has made any positive moves in the right direction. Solar gate is just one of many stupid example that he is responsible for. You can't have government spending like a drunken sailor to get out of the problems we have. It needs to start with a balance budget and cut the fat down to the lean amd mean.

    September 21, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. duckbutter

    ya think ... are you better off now than 4 yrs ago... nope

    September 21, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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