Gallup first asked this "blame assessment" question in July 2009, six months after Obama became president. At that point, 80% of Americans gave Bush a great deal or a moderate amount of blame, compared with 32% who ascribed the same level of blame for the bad economy to Obama. The percentage blaming Bush dropped to about 70% in August 2010, and has stayed roughly in that range since. Meanwhile, about half of Americans have blamed Obama since March 2010, with little substantive change from then to the present...
The relative amount of blame Americans give to Obama and to Bush has largely stabilized over the last two years. It remains to be seen whether Americans are open to further discussion of those issues in the months remaining before the Nov. 6 election, or whether their minds are made up.
Republicans and Democrats distribute economic blame in different ways, as was the case last September. Democrats follow what might be described as a fairly traditional pattern: 90% blame Bush, in contrast to 19% who blame Obama.
Republicans, however, are more ecumenical in their blame, with 83% blaming Obama a great deal or moderate amount and 49% ascribing the same level of blame to Bush. Republicans, in short, are significantly more willing to blame their most recent Republican president than are Democrats willing to blame Obama.
Independents are substantially more likely to blame Bush (67%) than to blame Obama (51%) for the nation's economic problems, a finding that no doubt provides some comfort to the Obama re-election campaign. And fewer independents blame Obama now than did so last September (60%).
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