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Half of Americans Blame Obama for Economy, Poll Shows

President Barack Obama (AP, file)
Barack Obama
President Barack Obama (AP, file)

As many as 26 percent of Americans say President Obama deserves a "great deal" of blame for the nation's economic problems, a new USA Today/ Gallup poll finds. That's nearly twice as many people who thought so last summer. Half of Americans say he deserves at least a moderate amount of blame.

The vast majority of Americans polled -- 93 percent -- said the economy would be a very important issue for them in the midterm elections. With so many worried about unemployment and other economic indicators, Mr. Obama will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday to visit a factory and hold a town hall meeting about the economy.

A significant percent of Americans, 42 percent, still pin a "great deal" of blame for the poor economy on former President George W. Bush. That figure has remained steady since last summer, when 43 percent blamed Mr. Bush.

Still, voters may not be willing to forgive the current president if the economy does not rebound. Half of voters surveyed in the USA Today/ Gallup poll said Mr. Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, while 46 percent said he does.

Voters may be ready for a change of leadership in Congress as well. Those surveyed were split over which party should be in charge: 46 percent said they prefer Republicans while 45 percent said they prefer Democrats.

"I believe that if we begin to see positive job growth, people's confidence will return and that will change the dynamic," Rep. Chris Van Hollen, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told USA Today.