The economy: did Obama inherit the mess or create it? NBC/WSJ poll numbers

There were numerous posts on this site today hoping that the stock market and the economy could be pinned on Barack Obama.

Well, buried in the  NBC/WSJ Poll out today (link to PDF).

Question 17a. When you think about the current economic conditions, do you feel that this is a situation that Barack Obama has inherited or is this a situation his policies are mostly responsible for?

  • He inherited it - 84%
  • He is responsible for it - 8%

Question 17b (asked of people who said "inherited" in 17a): And how much time would you say that Barack Obama has before his policies are mostly responsible for the country's economic conditions?

  • Responsible in less than six months - 2
  • Responsible in six months to one year - 13
  • Responsible in one to two years  - 25
  • Responsible in two to three years - 18
  • Responsible in more than three years - 23

Indicating how very tough it is going to be to pin the blame on Obama before the 2010 elections.

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Look Again

Right track 42, wrong track 44.

Those numbers are off just a couple of points from what Republicans had going into 2006 congressional elections.

As for when Obama gets blamed--look at the question.  Is it asking for a personal view, or a bet on the political climate?  I can't tell, and I bet most respondants couldn't either.

The moment a President gets blamed for something is almost impossible to tell.  Popular Presidents don't get blamed when they should (i.e. Reagan's teflon quality) and unpopular Presidents get blamed for stuff they shouldn't (Katrina and Bush).  The confidence in Obama's economic policies reflects almost precisely his share of the popular vote, which suggests this isn't about policy, but about political polarization.

The worm will turn at the precise moment Obama supporters--or some significant portion of them, become embarrassed by the administration.  That observation should lead you to an obvious conclusion--Obama supporters should be ridiculed.


the soup is on your lap.

Or to look at it another way...

By 2012, 62% of Americans will feel that Obama is responsible for the condition of the economy.

This is like blaming Carter

This is like blaming Carter over the economic problems of the day. Those problems started with LBJ with his "guns and butter" and the inflation lasted 20 years. Along the way NIxon failed with wage and price controls and Ford failed with the WIN buttons. Bush has done the same "guns and butter" and it will take 20 years to get rid of his deficits and debt. And along the way, future presidents will try different things to fix the problems and fail.