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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New Polls Strengthen Obama’s Mandate

TDS Co-editor Ruy Teixeira has a post up at the Center for American Progress noting that complaints about too much government spending aren’t finding much of a sympathetic constituency, while a healthy majority of Americans believe creating jobs is the better way to “balance the budget.”

In a late March Democracy Corps poll, 61 percent agreed that, “In order to balance the budget in the long term, it is more important to make investments that will lead to new jobs and industries and create economic growth,” rather than, “In order to balance the budget in the long term, it is more important to limit the amount government spends on costly new programs” (37 percent).

Nor is the “Obama is trying to do too much” meme generating a lot of support:

And the public doesn’t buy the conservative line that Obama is trying to do too much by pursuing health care reform, clean energy, and a 21st-century educational system (as he does in his budget) when he should be focused only on the economy. In the same poll, 63 percent agreed that, “The challenges America faces are too big to ignore. President Obama is right to seek solutions on health care, energy, and education while still making the economy his top priority.” That’s compared to just 33 percent who thought that “President Obama is trying to do too much. He should put his entire focus on the economy and deal with health care, energy, and education when we’re through this crisis.”

The “blame Obama” for our “economic situation” meme isn’t getting any traction either, and an even more significant majority is very clear about who caused the current economic mess, as Teixeira notes:

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, the public has not forgotten Bush’s culpability—not by a long shot. When asked how much blame the Bush administration should be assigned for the country’s economic situation, 70 percent said “a great deal” or “a good amount.” The analogous figure for the Obama administration was just 26 percent.

All of which adds up to a pretty solid mandate for the Obama Administration and the Democrats.

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