A new WSJ/NBC News poll confirms what's obvious to most people: There's a lot of anxiety about the economy right now. However, the poll also finds a strong majority don't blame President Obama, which is a bit of a surprise.
More on that in a moment; but first, the numbers, based on a poll of 1000 adults conducted between June 9-13:
- Just 29% of Americans think the economy will improve over the next year.
- 30% think the economy will worsen in the coming year.
- 44% say the economy is headed for another recession.
- Over one-third of poll respondents say their personal economic situation had gotten worse over the last year.
The negativity about the economy is the worst since the summer of 2008, The WSJ reports. Meanwhile, 62% of respondents say the U.S. is on the wrong track and President Obama's approval rating has fallen to 49% after rising to 52% in May after the killing of Osama bin Laden.
All of this would appear to be very bad news for President Obama's reelection hopes. Yet he still leads a generic Republican opponent by 45% to 40% and GOP front-runner Mitt Romney 49% to 43%, according to the WSJ/NBC News poll.
Perhaps most surprisingly, 64% of respondents say Obama is either "not really" or "only somewhat" responsible for the state of the economy.
As Henry and I discuss in the accompanying video, there's some justification for that view and, clearly, the White House strategy of continually repeating "we inherited a mess" has been effective. But if the economy is still sluggish a year from now, Obama will have a harder time selling that idea to the American people.