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. sly

    Good times America:

    -Stock market at all time high
    -Federal deficit ratio to spending at 50 year low
    -2 trillion dollar Bush Oil Wars ended
    -Future Health Care Spending meltdown eliminated

    Thank you President Obama. History will view you as one of the best ever.

    February 6, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Frank Brady

    You can tell the depth of the Left's desperation when it thinks it's GOOD news that 36% of the population believe the economy is getting better and more than half of their "scientifically selected sample" believes the Republicans are to blame for that which remains bad.

    What a joke.

    February 6, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. Ellen Kourtides

    Tell Boehner he should get a back bone and act on what he believes on note what they brain wash with.
    Start to govern for changer Boehner.

    February 6, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. James J

    I find these polls ridiculous. The precursor for our current economic condition can be traced back to none other than Bill Clinton. It was Clinton that spearheaded the fair housing act. If everyone was paying attention, it was that act that opened the door to the run away housing market and shoddy lending practices that funneled a lot of people into loans they could not afford. When the money came due, they couldn't pay or they tried to pay with every last dollar, instead of sending money into the economy, all the money went to the banks and mortgage companies. With a great percentage of American's spending power used to pay for a house rather than core goods to support the economy, jobs dried up.

    During the past few years the only new building I've noticed is new banks, it's easy to tell who has all of the money. If I had to sum up the last 15 year's economy, I would say it was an exercise of the rich (politicians and bankers) seeing how far they could push the economy to the brink of destruction. The goal is to transfer as much wealth from the middle class to themselves. This will never change, as long as idiots keep electing rich people and their minions to run this country.

    February 6, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Is this a joke?"

    No, Darla. CNN has always taken its polling very seriously. Too seriously (in my opinion).

    February 6, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Reggie53

    CNN you know what you can do with your polling. Obama's disasters are destroying our economy not Bush.......Bush has been gone for nearly 6 years now....When will CNN, the liberals/democrats and Obama himself own his dismal record?

    February 6, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Dean

    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------------Funny that people don't realize than Dodd and Frank are Democrats.

    February 6, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Minnesotan

    Just remember, folks, George W. Bush is the ONLY president to have a recession named after him..... and it's still gonna take a while to fully recover from the "Bush Recession."

    February 6, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Barry G.

    Were any of the Wall St. CEO's, who were responsible for bringing the nation's economy to its knees, held accountable?

    Were those held accountable–who are responsible for overseeing and regulating their actions–for failing to prevent such irresponsible and reckless activities and fiscal policies, during the past 20 to 30 years?

    Why not?

    February 6, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Wake up and smell the propaganda!

    What about Clinton (NAFTA) and the congressional shortsightedness (Glass–Steagall repeal) of his term?!?!?
    Bush (W) ?!!! While I'm no fan of his he couldn't find his way out of a wet paper bag much less find a way out of a country wasted by corporate greed and power. Bush was a puppet to Cheney who is a puppet to corporations and Barak stepped into it with no clue of the puppet he would be to the same powers.

    Watch the movie Idiocracy and see what you are and what the country will become.

    February 6, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    Don't you know YOUR IRAQ WAR CAUSED TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS, KILLS. Don't be bunch of Morons. Shows your idiocy. Bush and Reagan caused this mess. If you have guts, ask for TAX CODE REDONE, IMMIGRATION, INFRASTRUCTURE. THAT IDIOT BUSH SENT TRILLIONS TO IRAQ, PAKISTAN, BIN LADEN HID THERE. He did not even get oil.

    February 6, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Lardoggy

    CNN,why would you even post this,the best it has is coming from the ones who are getting government support,what part do you not understand,and to think somebody gets pay to write this LOL!

    February 6, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Gary

    The poll takers are again laying down the Bull for Obama. If the Dems can't fix these problems in the Five plus years they have had they are not the group to do it period. Stop blaming BUSH the problems were created by the BIG BANKS and guess whom got bailed out first.
    I think Hillary will find out if the media is truthful the AMERICAN people do not want another line of lying Democrats .

    February 6, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. kel

    It all started with President Ronald Reagan.

    February 6, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. rc

    An interesting poll question would be "at what point in time do you think the Obama administration has responsibility for the economic condition." I'm going to guess 100% or Republicans will say today and 100% of Democrats will say never. There we don't even need a poll.

    February 6, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. mark ducharme

    Very similar to their take on Obama care now actually being a liberator for free time. LOL. too bad we are all cursed with the evil "need to eat" or we could all become artist and live life to the fullest.

    February 6, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Marie

    CNN interviewed only 1,010 adults out of the MILLIONS of adults in the USA! That's not an appropriate number to make a statement that people think the economy is better. How many were democrats and how many were republicans?

    February 6, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Mike

    Kevin, it really doesn't matter whether they polled cell phone also. Point of the matter is this polling crap changes by the day and calling that few people doesn't tell what the economy is like in my neck of the woods.

    February 6, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Mike C from RI

    Bush? Ha! Obama has had FIVE years to turn things around. And I cannot believe that CNN is trumpeting this as good news.

    February 6, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. Ryan in Texas

    It funny how people blame Bush for this.
    What exactly was he supposed to do, go out and take loans away from people? Make it harder to buy a house on credit? The Fed, Wall Street, and even the most savvy individual investors didn't see the bubble bursting. But Bush was supposed to see what everyone else couldn't – and deliberately shut down a booming economy?
    The craziest thing is if it was so bad, what were the first things Obama did when he got into office?
    It wasn't to bolster the economy!
    I think few people have ever really though about this deeply.
    So I'll ask you – what specific things did you want Bush to do?
    Are we all not complaining about the tight lending environment? So you think any President of any party would have thrust these current cautious lending rules on people? You would have wanted his head!
    He made plenty of mistakes, but as of yet, no one has any good explanation of how he would have stopped the recession from happening.
    OH, AND WHAT WERE THE DEMOCRAT PROPOSALS AT THE TIME? Did they want to make lending to people, often minorities – more difficult?

    February 6, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    The party of NO, which amounts to the same thing

    February 6, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. kiwisepp

    Bush and GOP created big hole and all Obama did in the past 5 years is pull us out of this hole and he did that with the back wind of GOP obstruction.

    February 6, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    Well Bush did his part by running up the debt and federal spending over the War of Lies (Iraq). Obama spending is increasing but not as much as under Bush.

    February 6, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  24. Gabbo

    BS from the Obama cheerleaders at CNN

    February 6, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. duane - st.pete FL

    funny....liberals still blaming Bush.....broken record

    February 6, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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