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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Quinnipiac University Poll: GOP Losing Blame Game

A new Quinnipiac University poll conducted July 5-11, affirms the findings of recent polls — that the public will blame Republicans if the debt ceiling not negotiated in time to prevent an economic catastrophe. As Jordan Howard explains the findings in his HuffPo report:

A plurality of registered voters said congressional Republicans are to blame in the event the debt ceiling is not raised in a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University from July 5-11.
When asked to whom they would assign responsibility should the limit not be raised, 48 percent of respondents chose the congressional Republicans; 34 percent said they would blame the Obama administration.
These results echo a Pew Research Center poll conducted from June 16-19 which asked the same question as the Quinnipiac poll. According to that survey, 42 percent of respondents said they would blame Republicans in Congress if the debt ceiling were not raised; 33 percent chose the Obama Administration.

Among the other findings of the Quinnipiac poll:

The country is in a recession, 71 percent of American voters say, but by 54 – 27 percent they blame former President George W. Bush more than President Obama.
The president gets a 47 – 46 percent job approval rating, unchanged from the June 9 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. That tops a 64 – 28 percent disapproval for Democrats in Congress and a 65 – 26 percent disapproval for Republicans.
…Voters say 67 – 25 percent that an agreement to raise the debt ceiling should include tax hikes for the wealthy and corporations, not just spending cuts.
…By a 62 – 32 percent margin, American voters say it’s more important to reduce unemployment than to reduce the federal budget deficit. But they say 49 – 43 percent it’s more important to reduce unemployment than to reduce government spending.

Interestingly, Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling institute, notes that “The key voting bloc, independents, say 49 – 24 percent that Bush is more responsible for the economy than Obama.” Independents are not much of a “voting bloc,” as Alan Abramowitz recently explained. But the 2-1 gap certainly suggests that even Republican ‘leaners’ are clear about who created the current economic decline.
Howard quotes GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “If we go into default he [Obama] will say Republicans are making the economy worse…and all of a sudden we have co-ownership of a bad economy.”
They way things are going for Republicans, “co-ownership” sounds like wishful thinking.

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