CNN poll: Blame for economy shifting to Democrats

Ten months to the day after Barack Obama took office and three years since Democrats won control of both chambers of Congress, the American public has begun to get the impression that Democrats are responsible for the economic mess that continues to unfold.  A new CNN poll shows that those blaming Republicans has dropped fifteen points in the last six months, while those blaming Democrats have risen 21 points in the same period (via Yid with Lid):

Nearly two years into the recession, opinion about which political party is responsible for the severe economic downturn is shifting, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning indicates that 38 percent of the public blames Republicans for the country’s current economic problems. That’s down 15 points from May, when 53 percent blamed the GOP. According to the poll 27 percent now blame the Democrats for the recession, up 6 points from May. Twenty-seven percent now say both parties are responsible for the economic mess.

“The bad news for the Democrats is that the number of Americans who hold the GOP exclusively responsible for the recession has been steadily falling by about two to three points per month,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “At that rate, only a handful of voters will blame the economy on the Republicans by the time next year’s midterm elections roll around.”

There may be even more reason to worry in this poll.  Obama has tried to sell the idea that the economy is improving, bolstered by a third-quarter GDP number mainly driven by temporary government incentives — Cash for Clunkers and a homebuyer tax credit.  Tim Geithner told Congress that “by any measure” the economy is improving, despite the one big measure of unemployment rising faster than any time in the last six months.  The poll shows that responders claiming that the economy is getting worse rose three points since August, suggesting that Obama’s credibility is waning:

“Some economic indicators may suggest that the economy has turned the corner – but try telling that to the American people,” adds Holland. The number of Americans who say that the economy is in good shape – a number that grew steadily through the spring and summer – has now stalled, with fewer than one in five expressing a positive view of current conditions. More than eight in 10 say that economic conditions are in poor shape, with 43 percent calling them very poor.

CNN did not include sample data in this partial release from their poll, so the partisan split of the sample cannot be determined. Interestingly, they didn’t produce any subsample data on independents. The big story amongst pollsters is the flight of independents, which makes CNN’s survey or reporting decision a little mysterious.

The evolving polling on this shows the big danger for Democrats as they push big-spending agenda items through Congress.  They could do that as long as they didn’t have to worry about getting blamed for a stalled economy.  The undiminished upward trajectory in unemployment has made that impossible.  Democrats got what they wanted in the $787 billion Porkulus plan after shutting Republicans out of the picture, and they now own the results.

If unemployment continues to rise, and if the administration continues to offer fraudulent numbers from its Porkulus project, Democrats will completely own this recession and the unemployment it causes by the time the midterms arrive.