News / USA

    Dim View of Economy Could Spell Trouble for Obama

    President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 7, 2011
    President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 7, 2011

    In U.S. presidential politics, a new public-opinion poll contains some warning signs for President Barack Obama as he prepares for the 2012 presidential election.

    The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll found the public’s view of the domestic economy is getting worse and Americans increasingly are holding the president responsible.

    The Post-ABC poll found that by a margin of 59 to 40 percent, Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, which remains the top issue for voters looking ahead to next year’s election.

    The poll results come on the heels of a worse-than-expected jobs report last week that showed the U.S. unemployment rate ticking up to 9.1 percent, which political experts say is a dangerously high number for an incumbent president seeking re-election.

    Obama addressed the issue Tuesday at a White House news conference.

    “We have set a path that will lead us to long-term economic growth," he said. "But we still have some enormous work to do, and as long as there are some folks out there who are unemployed looking for work, then every morning when I wake up I am going to be thinking about how we can get them back to work.”

    The tepid economic recovery is the top focus of the Republicans who would like to defeat Obama next year.

    Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty unveiled his economic plan in Chicago, which includes cuts in both spending and taxes.

    “The president is satisfied with a second-rate American economy produced by his third-rate policies," said Pawlenty. "I am not.”

    The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that President Obama would easily defeat most of the Republican presidential contenders if the election were held today. The survey found, though, he is essentially tied with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who continues to lead polls measuring support for the Republican candidates.

    A number of recent polls have found many Republicans dissatisfied with the current crop of presidential contenders. But Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour told the CBS program Face the Nation that Republicans can be successful next year if they remain focused on the president’s handling of the economy.

    “I think the same thing can happen for us if the election is about Obama’s polices and the results of those policies," said Barbour. "That is the key for the 2012 campaign for Republicans.”

    James Carville was a key political adviser to former President Bill Clinton in the 1990’s. Carville told ABC’s Good Morning America the president must do more to show empathy for those Americans struggling to find work or to keep their homes from foreclosure.

    “There are any number of things that he can talk about," said Carville. "But boy, he has got to get in there and have his sleeves rolled up and say, 'I am fighting this every day, these are things we are doing and these are the things that we need to do. I understand what is going on in your life.'”

    The latest Post-ABC News poll found Obama’s overall approval rating is now down to 47 percent, with 49 percent disapproving of the job he is doing in office. That is down slightly from the ratings boost he got last month in the wake of the U.S. commando raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

    Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown said the ratings boost from the bin Laden killing may be a distant memory by the time the U.S. election is held in November of next year.

    “Elections are always referendums on the incumbent," said Brown. "When all is said and done, the 2012 election will be about the U.S. economy, the federal budget deficit and how it affects the economy and what Mr. Obama had done about it, and what voters perceive the Republicans would do about it.”

    President Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 despite a jobless rate of 7.2 percent. But three other presidents seeking re-election with the unemployment rate above six percent did not fare as well. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush all lost, at least in part, because the jobless rate was high.





    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    First Human Head Transplant Planned for 2017

    Italian neurosurgeon, assisted by team of 100 medical staff, to perform 36-hour surgery on Russian man with debilitating muscle-wasting disease

    Biden Urges Global Focus on Cancer as a 'Constant Emergency'

    At Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Vice president notes that cancer kills more than 3,000 people each day in US alone

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora