Obama and Bush in 2010 (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)President Obama's poll numbers have taken a hit in recent months amid voter discontent over how his administration has handled the dismal economy. But for the first time, a new poll finds that a majority of Americans are beginning to actually blame Obama for the nation's economic problems.
According to Gallup, 53 percent of those surveyed say Obama bears some of the blame for the struggling economy—the highest number recorded on the question since he took office in 2009. Twenty-nine percent of those polled say Obama bears "some blame" while 24 percent say Obama deserves "a great deal of blame."
Yet more Americans still put most of the responsibility on former President George W. Bush for the nation's current economic predicament. According to Gallup, 69 percent of those polled say Bush bears the blame. (Obama and Bush weren't matched head to head.)
Heading into 2012, Obama has repeatedly argued that he inherited the struggling economy, pointing the finger back at Bush's policies. But the Gallup poll finds Americans less and less willing to get him the benefit of the doubt--doubtless a worrying sign for the strategists spearheading the president's re-election efforts.
Among the most skeptical: self-described independent voters, who are sure to be a critical constituency in next year's presidential election. Sixty percent of independent voters say Obama bears the blame for the dismal economy—a 32 point increase since Gallup first posed the question in July 2009.