51 Percent of Americans Say They're Worse-Off Under Obama

The number of Americans who feel their economic situation has deteriorated since President Obama took office is smaller than it was during Ronald Reagan's post-midterm polling in 1982. According to a new Bloomberg National Poll, Fifty-one percent say life is worse under Obama; 61 percent said the same for Reagan who won a second term with a landslide. Notably, these numbers aren't the same as approval ratings. Although the poll doesn't reflect directly on Obama -- but rather on the the economy and joblessness -- it does underscore many of the factors that led to the 2010 midterm results. The poll's demographics also show that Obama's still has support among young people: only those under 35 say life has gotten better for them since 2008.

 The young often show a greater "sense that things are getting better for them than we see for older respondents," says J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm that conducted the nationwide survey. "Maybe that is the sweet naivete of youth or, more likely, they are building their careers and things are, in fact, getting better for them."
While Democrats and political independents agree that unemployment is the top issue, Republicans are about evenly split between jobs and the budget deficit, which totaled $1.29 trillion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.
On the tax cuts, the survey conducted before, during and after the negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans this week, shows that only a third of Americans support keeping the lower rates for the highest earners.

Read the full story at Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

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