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Most say Obama policies contributed to downturn

poll graphic downturn
CBS News

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

(CBS News) Nearly two out of three registered voters believes that President Obama's policies contributed to some degree to the economic downturn, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

Thirty-four percent say Mr. Obama's policies contributed significantly to the downturn, and another 30 percent say they contributed to some degree. Thirty-five percent say the president's policies contributed little or not at all to the downturn.

While a majority of voters say Mr. Obama has at least some ownership of the recession, far more blame his predecessor, President George W. Bush. The downturn began before Mr. Obama took office.

Nearly half say Mr. Bush's policies played a significant role in creating the nation's current economic problems. Another 33 percent say they played some role. Only 18 percent say Mr. Bush's policies had little to no impact.

Forty-six percent of registered voters - including more than half of independents - say Mr. Obama's economic policies will never improve the economy. Thirty-four percent, including 31 percent of independents, say his policies will improve the economy if given more time. Just 17 percent believe his policies are currently improving the economy.

When it comes to their personal financial situation, more voters believe the president's policies will make their economic situation worse (39 percent) than improve it (26 percent). Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney fares better: While 25 percent say his policies will make their economic situation worse, a higher percentage - 32 percent - say his policies will improve their economic standing.

Nearly half of registered voters say Romney's policies will somewhat closely follow those of Mr. Bush, and 19 percent say his policies will follow Mr. Bush's very closely. Just one in four say Romney will not follow the policies of the last Republican president.


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Read The Complete Poll


This poll was conducted by telephone from July 11-16, 2012 among 1,089 adults nationwide.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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