On Wednesday Reuters/lpsos released the results of a poll which showed that Americans are intensely worried about the future economy in the wake of the stalled White House talks on raising the debt limit.
On the Wrong Track
July’s figure for those Americans who believe that the country is ‘on the wrong track’ rose to 63% from an already astounding 60% in June. Hopes for a fast economic recovery have been crushed as unemployment rates continue to stay stubbornly high while Washington seems stuck in the mud about what to do to alleviate the problem.
Obama’s Approval Rating Holding Steady
Despite the bad news and lack of hope, voters are still relatively satisfied with President Obama, and do not yet hold him responsible for the mess. Obama’s approval rating has stayed steady at 49%, down a meager 1% since June.Lpsos pollster Julie Clark said that there is a large chance that if the economy does not begin to show signs of improvement soon, the president’s approval rating could begin to plummet.
“If those things don’t happen, Obama will be in for a real challenge in getting re-elected next year,” Clark said.
The economy is heading for a crisis as the deadline for the US to pay its bills fast approaches, on August 2. Republicans have been in negotiations with Obama and his administration as to how to handle the upcoming deadline, especially whether or not to raise the legislated debt limit, but so far have come up with no solution which both sides can agree on.
Need to Prioritize
Without an expansion of the debt limit the government will be forced to choose which creditors to pay first. Pollsters asked which bills should take priority.Thirty-six percent of those asked said international creditors such as banks should be paid first, while twelve percent said government department such as education and agriculture should take priority.Since the issue of the economy will certainly be one of the most debated issues during the coming election year, this poll is crucial in getting a handle on how the voters feel about the economy and Obama’s relation to it.