Polling data is showing that voters are beginning to hold President Obama to account for the rotten economy. A New York Times/CBS poll recently showed nearly two in three voters hold Obama partially or substantially responsible for the economy.
The Hill reports that “66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.” In other words: “The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.”
Mitt Romney, of course, has been making the argument that Obama’s policies (e.g., Obamacare, the threatened tax hike, new regulations, the massive increase in the debt) has crippled the economic recovery. These results show he has a receptive audience.
What’s more, most economists (including the Federal Reserve chairman) agree that the economy isn’t going to improve much and may get worse by November.
CNBC reports on the take of economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the 2008 crash:
Roubini believes the U.S. economy will slow further this year and next as expectations of the “fiscal cliff” keep spending and growth lower — and uncertainty about the outcome of the presidential election dogs markets. . . .
“In 2013, as transfer payments are phased out, however gradually, and as some tax cuts are allowed to expire, disposable income growth and consumption growth will slow. The U.S. will then face not only the direct effects of a fiscal drag, but also its indirect effect on private spending,” he wrote.
The worst might be ahead. Roubini warns that in 2013 the U.S. economy could tip “into outright contraction.” That is economist lingo for “recession.”
Investors are glum. The Dow Jones is down more than 200 points this morning “amid a global selloff, and the yield on 10-year Treasurys hit all-time lows, as fears intensified that Spain could need a bailout and aid for Greece might dry up.” Given the fragility of the U.S. economy one wonders if Obama can withstand too many more tremors.
No wonder Obama is struggling to tar Romney in the summer. If voters still find Romneyacceptable in the fall, it’s easy to see how they can be convinced that dumping Obama is a prerequisite for recovery.