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Friday
Jul162010

The Week's Public Opinion Polls All Tell Same Story: Americans Gloomy Over Economic Future and Reject Obama's Domestic Policies

It hasn’t been a good week for the White House. A number of nationwide opinion polls released over the past few days all paint an unflattering portrait for the Obama Administration. No contradictions here. The polls send a loud and clear message that Americans do not approve of the job President Obama is doing, do not approve his handling of the economy, and—most telling—believe policies coming out of the White House will have a negative impact on their household finances and economy as a whole.

CBS’s poll on Obama’s handling of the economy finds “Americans say bad economy will linger.” Even though economists are declaring the recession over, most Americans don’t believe it and blame the president for jobless rates and overall bad state of the economy. Most Americans “expect the effects of the recession to linger for years.” Consider:

  • 54% say they disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. Overall job approval rating on the economy is 40%, down from 45% last month.
  • 8 in 10 say economic conditions are bad, up 5 points from last month.
  • Last April, 41% said the economy is getting better; in this month’s poll, only 25% said it was getting better.
  • 3 out of 4 say “the effects of the recession will last another two years or more.” 70% believe the jobs market will stay the same or or grow worse.
  • 1 in 4 expect their household finances to worsen over the next year. That’s twice as many as believe it will improve.

A Gallup poll released this week on consumer confidence on the economy found similar results: American confidence in the direction the economy is headed is lowest in a year at -35, down from -24 in May and -22 in April. Sixty-five percent say the economy is getting worse.

No surprise then that, as reported on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post, U.S. companies are afraid to hire in spite of the fact they are sitting on oodles of cash: specifically, $1.8 trillion, the highest level in over 6 years. Yet they don’t have enough confidence in the direction of the economy to hire workers. As the Chamber of Commerce knows and reports, regulations rolling out of the White House impose costs on companies and create uncertainty, 2 major disincentives to hiring more people.

And that leads to the most damning poll of them all—the Washington Post/ABC poll on Obama’s overall job performance:

Public confidence in President Obama has hit a new low… Nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy.

And about those decisions coming out of the White House? Consider:

  • Deepwater oil drilling: According to a new Bloomberg poll: A whopping 73% majority are against a ban on deepwater drilling:

Almost three-fourths, or 73 percent, say a ban is unnecessary, calling the worst oil spill in U.S. history a “freak accident,” according to a Bloomberg National Poll… “A ban will destroy the economy in that area over nothing,” said poll respondent Ron Small comb, 64, a used-car dealer in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. “This is crazy. If there’s a plan crash you don’t ground all the airlines and stop flying completely.”

Only 19% believe “lax federal regulations and oversight” are to blame.

  • Stimulus package: The CBS poll finds as many as 74% say the White House stimulus plan either didn’t improve the economy or made the economy worse.  
  • Tax policy: The CBS poll reports 53% believe the best way to improve the economy is to cut taxes.

The polls all tell the same story and it’s really a no-brainer: Americans are gloomy about the economic forecast because they know and understand that domestic policies coming out of the White House will be economically harmful.

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