Public opinion on the economy and Obama’s handling of it
Strengthening the economy has been one of the public’s top priorities for the president and Congress going back even before the Great Recession. Here are key takeaways from our surveys on the state of public opinion about the economy.
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Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents
Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. The Republican Party is taking more of the blame than the Democrats for a do-nothing Congress.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
In a Down Economy, Fewer Births
A sharp decline in fertility rates in the United States that started in 2008 is closely linked to the souring of the economy that began about the same time.
No Consensus About Whether Nation Is Divided Into ’Haves’ and ’Have-Nots’
The public is divided on the question of whether the U.S. has become a society of economic ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,” with 52% saying it is incorrect to think of the country this way while 45% say such a division exists.
Jobs vs. Deficit — Where the Public Stands
When President Obama goes before a joint session of Congress on Thursday to lay out a plan for spurring jobs creation, one of the political and policy dynamics at work will be the tension that animated the debate in Washington all this year: the push to reduce federal spending and the government’s deficit competing against whether some kind of stimulus is needed to deal with a faltering recovery and the stubbornly-high unemployment rate.
Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline
For the first time in his presidency, significantly more Americans disapprove than approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and and the margin of strong disapproval over strong approval has widened. But the public is also profoundly discontented with the political leadership of both parties, angry at the federal government and dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country.
Wealth Gaps and Perception Gaps: A Paradox of the Great Recession
When the real estate market melted down, those hit hardest by the sharp drop in household wealth were blacks and Hispanics. But even while their wealth was being decimated, the political reaction among the nation’s minorities has been surprisingly muted.
Public Wants Debt Ceiling Compromise, Expects a Deal Before Deadline
The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff, with 68% saying they want lawmakers to agree to a deal even if they disagree with it. Republicans overall favor a compromise by a small majority, but those who identify with the tea party movement say their representatives should stick to their principles.
The Debt Ceiling Showdown – Where the Public Stands
The nation is headed toward a possible government default on Aug. 2 if no agreement is reached to raise the debt ceiling.
In Two Years of Economic Recovery, Women Lost Jobs, Men Found Them
During the sluggish two-year recovery from the Great Recession, men have gained 768,000 jobs while women have lost 218,000 jobs. This new gender gap in employment trends represents a sharp turnabout from the recession itself, when men lost more than twice as many jobs as women. The current recovery is the first since 1970 in which women have lost jobs while men have gained them.