It's only one poll and there was multiple choices to make, but this is the first poll I can recall where the president receives the lion's share of blame for the bad economy.
Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington's fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.
It found 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.
The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.
The poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, found 53 percent of voters say Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down. Forty-two percent said he has taken the right actions to revive the economy, while six percent said they were not sure.
Obama has argued throughout the presidential campaign that his policies have made the economy better. He says recovery is taking a long time because he inherited such deep economic trouble upon taking office in 2009.
"The problems we're facing right now have been more than a decade in the making," he told an audience last month in Cleveland.
Obama's campaign, under the slogan "Forward," has sought to steer voter attention less toward current and past economic performance and more toward questions about Republican Mitt Romney's work in the private sector economy. It has launched attacks on the challenger's role as head of the private equity firm Bain Capital, casting him as a jobs "outsourcer" whose firm shipped thousands of U.S. positions overseas.
That's 61% who still don't blame Obama for the bad economy. And in a head to head matchup with Bush, I suspect Obama would once again escape responsibility. The Democrats have been too successful in pinning the lousy economic situation on Bush for that to change before the election -- unless Romney and the Super Pacs can make the case against the president. So far, Romney has been playing too much defense and not enough offense. Until he can begin to alter the Obama narrative on the economy, Romney will be saddled with Bush's legacy.