October 14, 2009
10/14: Voters Divide Over Handling of Economy…Independents Slip
Slightly less than half of registered voters nationwide — 48% — approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy. 47% disapprove. In Marist’s August survey, the president had a slim majority of voters who thought he was handling the economy well. 52% approved of his actions while 41% did not at that time.
Although there continues to be a partisan divide on this issue, the bigger cause for worry for the president is his drop in support among Independents. Looking at the Democrats, three-quarters agree with Mr. Obama’s economic strategy. Not surprisingly, Republicans stand on the other end of the spectrum with 77% disapproving of the president’s handling of the economy.
But, when it comes to Independents, the tides have turned against the president. 54% of these all-important voters report they disapprove of how Mr. Obama is dealing with the economy while 42% approve. In Marist’s August survey, Independent voters divided with 47% saying they liked the way the president was dealing with the economy and 45% reporting they did not.
However, the silver lining for the president is that seven in ten voters still think he inherited the country’s current economic conditions while 24% say they are a result of his own policies. Even a majority of Republicans — 51% — report the president walked into the nation’s current economic web. Two months ago, 74% believed the nation’s economic problems were left for Obama to solve. And, at that time, 18% thought the nation’s economic situation was a result of the president’s actions.
Unemployment Picture Dim
76% of Americans report they personally know someone who has lost his or her job in the last 6 months. And, unfortunately, the unemployment situation has not improved during that same time frame. When Marist last asked this question to U.S. residents in April, 75% said they knew someone who had been laid off during the preceding six months.