Lost amid the blaring headlines about the debt ceiling is public issue No. 1: jobs. More than eight in 10 Americans say jobs are hard to find in their communities, with nearly half saying they are “very difficult” to find according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.
This is a potential trouble spot for President Obama among all Americans, including in his base. More than half of the public disapproves of his efforts to create jobs. More than twice as many “strongly” disapprove as approve (39 to 16 percent).
Among liberal Democrats, “strong” approval of Obama’s handling the jobs situation has decreased more than 20 points since February (53 to 31 percent). Among all liberals, nearly as many strongly disapprove as intensely approve of Obama’s performance on jobs.
So it may be little solace that Republicans in Congress get even lower marks on job creation. Nearly two-thirds of all Americans, 65 percent, disapprove of their work in this area and 26 percent approve.
Among independents, just 25 percent give the GOP good marks on jobs (it’s 39 percent for Obama). But the GOP scores lower on jobs because only 50 percent of Republicans approve of the way their congressional representatives are handling the issue; 69 percent of Democrats say they approve of Obama’s performance on the issue.
The issue that is taking up all the oxygen in Washington the past few weeks – the debt ceiling debate and the large spending cuts to reduce the deficit – appears to have little relationship to job creation. The public splits 47 to 44 percent in their views of whether deep cuts would do more to create or cut jobs.