CNN Poll: Is Bush still to blame for economy?
February 6th, 2014
04:01 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: Is Bush still to blame for economy?

Washington (CNN) - Although nearly two-thirds of Americans still give the nation's economy a thumbs down, the percentage who rate the current economic conditions as good now stands at its highest level in six years, according to a new national poll.

And when it comes to the economic blame game, a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that the percentage of people who still blame former President George W. Bush and the Republicans more than President Barack Obama and the Democrats for the country's economic problems is dropping.

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Thirty-six percent of those questioned rate the current economic conditions as good. That's up four percentage points from December and it is the highest level since January 2008, a year before Obama entered the White House. Sixty-four percent continue to say the economy is in poor shape.

"Economic confidence seems particularly high in the Midwest, which might give an early boost to the Democratic Party's chances of holding on to two key Senate seats in Iowa and Michigan," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

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.

The CNN survey came on the eve of the release by the Labor Department of the January jobs report.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from Jan. 31-Feb. 2, with 1,010 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Economy • Polls
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    He never was. That was all Obama dishonest campaign rhetoric........which the mindless in America swallowed hook, line, and sinker, and which set the pattern of lies that we have had from Obama, ever SINCE!

    February 6, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Matt

    My, my, what are liberals to do? Decry the reality that this optimism is mostly at the top so as to support Obama's continued campaign against "inequality", or pat him on the back for a job well done and ignore that most of the middle class still has few jobs? My finicky liberal friends will no doubt say "both": he has done a great job AND he has done nowhere near enough. Anything but admit that his handout policies are failing.

    February 6, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    All the repub governors who refused stimulus money are also to blame ... ditto to the repubs who voted to shut down the government ... also the repub governors who laid off public employees (fewer employees, less money going into the economy, resulting in lower demand) ... every tea bag out there who thinks playing around with the debt ceiling and having our nation's credit rating downgraded is a good idea is to blame ... and all folks who support the failed policies of the GOP, who vote for candidates who hate government to run government ...

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Sam M

    Public opinion is a great contra-indicator. In this case the public is turning positive just as the economy has begun to decline. Bad news for the next Prez – whoever it is

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. jackm7

    36% are happy with the economy. That means that 64% of Americans are unhappy with the current Obama economy. CNN is pretty pitiful when they try to spin the Obama mess as a good sign! How pathetic you liberals are!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Bob Dobalina

    There are no bad polls under the Obama administration.

    February 6, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. VJ

    I agree with CNN poll.

    February 6, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. NeoKat1

    Where do people take these polls at?? Mcdonalds or Burger King??

    February 6, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. cfd

    The economy still sucks and our president is a criminal

    February 6, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Namsu

    Those people must have been living under a rock and just came out. Of course everything will look fine and dandy for them. As for the rest of us, things are going from bad to worst.

    February 6, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. jackm7

    Is Bush to blame for the Obama economy? Foolish and extremely liberal! I can't see how this liberal news network can possibly continue to justify an approval rating of 36% as being positive. AMAZING! Why not just tell the truth? 64% of Americans think the Obama economy is as pathetic as CNN!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Jim

    Obamacare – doing wonders for the economy. (Eye roll)

    February 6, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. faboge

    I know, polls are only accurate if the majority polled are grunting inbred rednecks!

    February 6, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Starman

    Ah, I remember back in 2008 right when Obama got elected I was on a boating forum which was loaded full of Tea-party "patriots" telling me that by 2009 the US would be in hyper inflation, a great depression with 30% unemployment and totally defunct as a country. They lauded all of the great conspiracy theories. In truth, those guys are the ones that still vote no, because even presented with evidence, their extreme distrust of the gov kicks in and all the *new* conspiracies pop up about how the gov is hiding it all. The worst thing is that these guys were older people (50+) who have been through recessions before.... a little bit of craziness mixed with little education, low IQ and a big done of doom and gloom really throw these people over the edge.

    February 6, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Darrell

    What do you think what the republicants did during the bush/chaney regime would just go away? No it doesn't work like that folks it takes years to get out of that KIND OF DEBT. But lets see if the teabagging republicants will spend more millions trying to undo the health care law ...lets see if they can try for 50 times! The econoomy is doing so much better and no not all people are working but that's coming as well. You have to ask your rich business owning republicant companies why they are not hiring. Although we did hear this was the year for m ore hiring since the country is doing so well. But of course the teabagging replublicants will say the country isn't doing we long as we know it is.

    February 6, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Phil

    Forget the article- How about these commenters on here? Holy cow! Defending Obama like he hasn't created nearly 7 thousand billion dollars in debt (thats 7 trillion).

    February 6, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. ccd

    getting better? maybe for those with incomes in the upper echelons – or those who don't work with people. for the rest of us, it still sucks. it's not better.

    February 6, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. Abbey

    The number of dummies who voted for the Obama economic plan are also falling. I guess CNN is not up to speed on that one yet.

    February 6, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. KG

    ORC does polls for the UK government, which makes it suspect as a supposedly independent surveyor. Secondly, CNN is the most left leaning news organization around (never forget how Obama's face was on the CNN home page for the entirety of 2012). Of course they are going to keep shoveling pro-Obama propaganda down our throats. They have to in order to show the world how much in the right they are in supporting Obama.
    It is time to fear our government when "independent" news organizations are so obviously in bed with our government. This matters whether you're a Democrat, Republican or Independent.

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. mike in NH

    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.

    Wow it only took 6 years and the big lie about ACA to have Bush drop below 50% blame.

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Abbey

    Since when does a Tax and Spend politician get credit for improvements in the U.S. economy? My gosh the interest on the debt is about to exploded thanks to the last 6 years of lies.

    February 6, 2014 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Doug

    'The economy is actually growing rather constantly, but employment is not rising. As a business owner with 250 employees I can assure you our focus is always on what new technology can help us as opposed to a new employee. Not to say we dont hire when necessary but it is almost always our last choice. Our some of our employees starting to wear down, yes, but a lot love the overtime earnings they are getting. The recesssion in 08 09 was deep and we had to let a lot of people go, people who we called friends outside of work too, very painful and we don't want a repeat. I feel a number of businesses are thinking like this.

    February 6, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. John Illinois

    Hmmmm.....seem to remember the economy crashing after the democrats took control of both the House and the Senate in 2006 and all through the current nightmare, Obama! This garbage economy is all on Obama, the Food stamp president, and his fellow liberals!

    February 6, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Bush and the last five years of GOP obstruction are the MAIN cause of the drag on the economy and they will pay for it in November , the GOP can't continue to HIDE BEHIND OBAMACARE and think we are going to vote for these GOP liers and obstructionist and Koch stooges who LIVE OFF THEIR DADDYS MILLIONS!!!!!!

    February 6, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Marie MD

    The recession happened under his watch. People lost half and more of their savings under his failed presidency.
    Right now we have to blame the teaklans/repugs who have come out and been found to have said and done everything possible to work against our President.
    Make him a one term president, pretend they are working with him (aka the country) and obstruct anything and everything to make him fail, and in turn the country fail.
    While most of us were celebrating Inauguration Day the teaklans/repugs were dining inexpensive restaurants in DC plotting how to tank the country.

    February 6, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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