The latest CBS poll more or less corroborates other media polls on Barack Obama’s performance on the economy, and overall as well. Over two-thirds of Americans agree with Obama’s admission yesterday that they are worse off (or at least no better off) after almost three years with Obama at the helm:
Sixty-nine percent say the president has not made real progress on the economy, which voters overwhelmingly cite as their most important issue. Twenty-five percent say he has made real progress.
Perceptions are not improving. The percentage who said Mr. Obama has made real progress has dropped 10 points from a survey 13 months ago, when 35 percent said he had made real progress.
Just 35 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, and his approval rating on the issue has been below 40 percent since February. Fifty-three percent approve of his handling of the economy.
More bad news for Obama: Less than one in four now blame George W. Bush for today’s economic conditions (22%), although blame-Bush still gets a narrow plurality. Wall Street and Congress fall into a virtual tie (16/15, respectively) while Obama gets 12% of the sole blame, and 10% blame “all of the above.” If Obama wants to run again on a blame-Bush platform, it’s not going to have much resonance. Obama’s job performance only gets a wan 44/44, not his lowest rating in the series, but not much above that point, either.
Respondents are now more likely to express disappointment in Obama, too, although not quite a majority. Forty-three percent say he’s failed to meet their expectations as President, and only 9% say he’s exceeded expectations. What’s fascinating is that Obama doesn’t do much better with Democrats, where 43% say he’s accomplished about what they expected and 39% say less. Only 15% say he’s exceeded their expectations. If Obama wants to launch a base-turnout strategy for 2012, that’s a pretty narrow base to leverage. He actually does slightly better among independents, with 48% saying he met expectations and 41% disappointed.
As always, the sample in the CBS poll gets tweaked to Republican disadvantage, but not as egregiously as usual. The original sample had a D/R/I of 34/26/40, but CBS weighted it to 31/24/45 — which oversamples indies and significantly undersamples Republicans. It doesn’t do much to hide the fact that Obama is failing to gain traction with his new hard-Left populist rhetoric, or distracting from his failure on the economy.