One reason why Obama is unveiling his overly-anticipated jobs plan this week: everyone's still in a very sour mood about his handling of the economy. This morning, the president was bombarded with three dour new polls from Politico/George Washington University, Washington Post/ABC News and The Wall Street Journal/NBC News showcasing--take your pick--"economic foreboding," "summer of discontent," or "rapid erosion of confidence" in his administration's policies. Not great post-Labor Day news to wake up to.
In the important "the country's barrelling in the wrong direction" metric, all three find the public sapped of their optimism: Politico finds 72 percent of voters believing strongly or somewhat headed in the wrong direction, The Journal/NBC finds 73 percent saying the same thing and The Washington Post/ABC says 77 percent think the country's going off the rails. All three find rises in that level of pessimism.
How are these numbers being spun? A sample: Byron York, The Washington Examiner's chief political correspondent, parsed two of the polls and finds the most telling evidence in this Post/ABC question: "Do you think Obama's economic program is making the economy better, making it worse, or having no real effect?" His analysis:
Just 17 percent say the president's program is making the economy better, while 34 percent say Obama's program is making the economy worse and 47 percent say it is having no real effect. Combine those last two numbers, and 81 percent say the Obama economic program is not working -- a devastating number in a country in which economic concerns top all other issues in voters' minds.