CBS poll shows most not buying talk of recovery

Barack Obama had better not count on a tailwind from the notion that we’re experiencing a recovery to help him survive his budget battle.  According to a new poll by CBS, just slightly over a third of voters believe that the economy is recovering at all, while 57% say the recession continues:

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports that, according to the new poll numbers, Americans have a rather pessimistic view of the chances for economic recovery, with 57 percent say they simply don’t believe the National Bureau of Economic Research‘s assertion that the recession is over and things are already improving.

Only 37 percent of those polled backed the assessment, which has been repeated by the Obama administration.

This is a big problem, because as Plante reports, Obama has based his budgeting on the idea that a recovery has already begun:

Plante reports that the president’s projected deficit reductions, outlined Tuesday in his proposed 2012 budget, contradict the people’s opinion — his plan is based, in part, on assumptions that the economy will continue to improve.

His 48/41 rating is a slight slide from last month’s 49/39, but independents stayed the same at an unenthusiastic 42/39.  CBS conducted this poll among general-population adults rather than registered voters, and they didn’t supply the demographic data from the poll.  It’s impossible to know exactly how the sample split along partisan lines, or even what percentage were registered to vote.

The other poll numbers show that Democrats may be taking a risk if they continue to defy Republicans on spending cuts.  The working- and middle-class respondents in the poll sharply oppose tax hikes, with overall approval for tax hikes at 37/59, 30/66 for those making less than $50,000, and 40/55 for those between $50-100K.  Furthermore, most Americans appear to expect pain as part of the solution; 49% say that it will be necessary to cut programs from which they specifically benefit in order to balance the budget.

The poll was taken before Obama’s meager spending cuts got announced yesterday.  Given the outcome, don’t expect Obama’s approval rate to stay steady in the next iteration.