NORC, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults in the run-up to this year’s elections, found that voters see the world through partisan lenses, and are more apt to assign blame and give credit based on their political views. Americans also appear to default to partisanship as a kind of cheat sheet when they don’t know specifics on a political question.
NORC tested this by asking voters who was responsible for the 2010 health care law, the economic stimulus, the 2003 prescription-drug benefit in Medicare and the Troubled Asset Relief Program that bailed out Wall Street. The first two came under President Obama, while the other two were signed by President George W. Bush.
But less than half of voters were able to attribute them to the correct presidents, and Obama supporters were worse than supporters of Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney.