Blame game

BLAME GAME…. Fox News has a new national poll (pdf) out, putting President Obama’s approval rating at 50%, with 42% disapproving. The results are largely identical to the Fox News polls from December, October, and September.

But the fun part of Fox News polls tends to be the wacky questions they include, which most major news outlets wouldn’t bother with. Alas, the new survey lacked the usual flare. That said, there was one question that stood out.

“Who do you think is more responsible for the current state of the economy — President Obama, former President Bush or Congress?”

Only 6% held Obama responsible, while 36% blamed Bush. Congress was blamed by 30%, while 20% said it was some combination of the choices. That six times as many Americans blame Bush than Obama is probably good news for the White House, but given that Bush and Congress scored similarly, this still speaks to a dangerous dynamic for incumbents.

Among self-identified Republicans, 9% blamed Obama, and 13% held Bush responsible, but 50% of GOPers blamed Congress for the economy. I’m not sure how they reached that conclusion, exactly, but I suppose it’s the easiest choice for Republicans to take.

As for Obama, that he isn’t blamed for the mess is only a partial victory — the poll didn’t mention it, but Americans can still expect him to do more to clean up the mess, even if they know he wasn’t the one to make it.