(Photo: AP Images / Saul Loeb, Pool)
A new Gallup poll released Thursday shows that 68 percent of Americans surveyed blame former President George Bush for the nation's economic problems, while 52 percent say President Obama is responsible.
When a similar poll was taken six months after Obama took office in January 2009, 80 percent of Americans gave Bush a great deal or moderate share of the blame. Since then, the Obama administration has consistently laid the responsibility for the economic recession at the feet of President Bush.
The percentage blaming Bush in August 2010 had decreased to 70 percent – which has held steady over the years.
What is most interesting is how the two political parties view the nation's economic struggles and how they blame their own leaders.
Democrats follow what might be described as a traditional pattern, with 90 percent blaming Bush and 19 percent blaming Obama for the economy. Among Republicans, however, 83 percent blame Obama and 49 percent still say Bush is responsible.
"Republicans, in short, are significantly more willing to blame their most recent Republican president than are Democrats willing to blame Obama," the Gallup report stated.
Independents, on the other hand, are still more likely to blame Bush over Obama, 67 to 51 percent.
Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, offered a reason why Bush still receives the most blame for the recession.
"Look, there are a handful of major events that people will remember from the last decade," Kondik told The Christian Post. "There's 9/11, the war on terrorism and there is the beginning of the economic collapse that started in late 2008. And President Bush – right or wrong – will probably always be associated with that event."
According to a number of political analysts, this latest poll may well substantiate the Obama administration's statement that they need more time – meaning a second term – to repair the economy.
Obama, who is scheduled to deliver remarks on the economy on Thursday in Ohio, will make the case that if the presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney is elected in November, his economic policies will be similar to that of President Bush's and that any potential of economic recovery will take longer under GOP leadership.
"When I hear Governor Romney say his 25 years in the private sector gives him a special understanding of how the economy works, my question is, why are you running with the same bad ideas that brought our economy to the brink of disaster," Obama said in recent remarks.
Yet some leading Democrats are calling for President Obama to adjust his strategy and message by not blaming Bush, but laying out a plan on how he will continue to strengthen the economy and put more Americans back to work. Still, other Democrats maintain that blaming Bush and the GOP for not wanting to raise taxes is the way to go.
"The president believes that this election is a fundamental choice between two very different visions for how we grow the economy, create middle-class jobs and pay down our debt," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at his briefing Wednesday. "The other side's plan is a $5 trillion tax cut that explodes the deficit while gutting the investments we need to grow."
Romney, whose consistent campaign theme has revolved around the economy, says that giving Obama more time is not the answer to improving the economy.
"He (Obama) will only offer more of the same – no new ideas about how to get the economy going, no real new proposals, just more spending, more taxes, more regulation," said Russell Schriefer, a Romney senior strategist on a Thursday morning conference call.
The Gallup poll of 1,004 adults was conducted from June 7 to 10 and has a margin of error of +/- four percent.