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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Movement in the Right Direction

I’ve been saying for a while that the thing to watch in public opinion was where and when Barack Obama’s approval ratings would begin to converge with “right track” assessments of the country’s direction. If today’s new Washington Post/ABC poll is any indication, this convergence could be happening pretty fast, and on terms largely favorable to the president.
The percentage of Americans expressing “right track” sentiments in this poll was 42%, which is a pretty decent number by the standards of recent years, and a very good number given all the prevailing bad economic news.
Obama’s job approval rating now stands at 66% (and at 61% with independents).
There are lots of interesting numbers in this poll, but the one that jumps out is this measurement of the effectiveness of Republican efforts to shift responsibility for the economic meltdown from George W. Bush to Barack Obama: 70% of Americans think Bush “deserves blame” for the economic situation, and 60% are still “angry” about it. The corresponding numbers for Obama are 26% and 21%. So far, the blame shift isn’t working, but as the president’s approval ratings remain relatively steady, optimism about the future is increasing. This is all good news for the Obama administration after a couple of weeks without a whole lot to smile about.

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