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GOP, Bush get some blame for economy, lack of bipartisanship in new polls

February 12, 2010 |  8:07 pm

Bush-jesterAs readers of the Ticket know, some recent polls about President Obama have been — how shall we say? — less than stellar. Perhaps that’s why a headline in today’s New York Times seems to leap off the page: “Obama Fares Better in Poll Than G.O.P.”

True, the new New York Times/CBS News poll is no Democratic valentine. It found that 46% of respondents approved of the way Obama is handling his job. Forty-five percent disapproved and 9% had no opinion.

But the poll also had sobering findings for the GOP (as did another survey we'll get to in a bit). As for the New York Times/CBS News poll, Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee-Brenan note in their report:

While the president is showing signs of vulnerability on his handling of the economy — a majority of respondents say he has yet to offer a clear plan for creating jobs — Americans blame former President George W. Bush, Wall Street and Congress much more than they do Mr. Obama for the nation’s economic problems and the budget deficit, the poll found.

They credit Mr. Obama more than Republicans with making an effort at bipartisanship, and they back the White House’s policies on a variety of disputed issues, including allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military and repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

One of the questions was this: “Do you think any of the following understand the needs and problems of the people like yourself, or not?” Obama fared best...

... on this one, with 60% of respondents saying he “does understand.” Congress lagged behind the president, with 43% saying Democrats in Congress understand. Thirty-five percent said Republicans in Congress understand.

The nationwide telephone poll of 1,084 adults was taken from Feb. 5 through 10. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points for all adults.

Another sampling of public opinion released this week, this one by Zogby International, also touched upon Obama and Bush. A key subject was bipartisanship, and the results for Bush were — how shall we say? — less than stellar.

Voters were asked, “Who was more serious about working with both parties?” Forty-nine percent of all voters said Obama, 38% said Bush.

As one would expect, Bush did better among Republicans (75% said he was more serious) and Obama got rave reviews from Democrats (85%). The Zogby survey, conducted Feb. 3 through 5, was an interactive survey of 2,618 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.0%.

-- Steve Padilla

Photo: President George W. Bush during a meeting with local and state officials with a Mardi Gras jester as a backdrop at New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau Inc. Credit: David Grunfeld / EPA