Anna Sale is the host and managing editor of Death, Sex & Money, a biweekly interview podcast at WNYC. A veteran public media reporter, Anna covered politics for years, including the 2013 New York City mayoral race, the 2012 presidential campaign, and the statehouse beat in Connecticut and West Virginia. She is a frequent fill-in host for The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show and has contributed to This American Life, NPR, Marketplace, PBS Newshour, CNN, MSNBC, BBC, Slate, and NY1.
Nobody's Impressing Voters Right Now, but Republicans Facing Most Blame
Thursday, July 14, 2011
As the debt ceiling negotiations get scrappier, a new poll shows that a majority of voters approve of the way Obama is handling the economy, and that more will blame Republicans than the president if a deal doesn’t happen.
In a Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday, nearly half of voters said they’d pin the blame on Republicans if the debt limit does not get raised, while a third would blame Obama. Sen. Mitch McConnell predicted as much on The Laura Ingraham Show on Wednesday, which has prompted him to call for allowing Obama to raise the ceiling unilaterally.
“I’m not going to allow him to push us into making a bad deal,” the Senate Minority leader said. “The reason default is no better idea today than when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995 is it destroys your brand, and would give the president an opportunity to blame Republicans for a bad economy.”
Overall, though, voters are torn on Obama’s performance. They’re split 47-46 on whether they approve of the job he’s doing. Just 26 percent approve of Republicans’ prefomrance in Congress, a slight decline from the approval that generally hangs around 30 percent. Democrats in Congress don’t fare much better – just 28 percent approve of their work.
And it’s not just American political culture that’s not inspiring much enthusiasm. Just 3 percent said they were “very satisfied” with the current state of affairs in America. 64 percent – nearly two-thirds of voters – said they were somewhat or very unsatisfied.