The political divide in the U.S. remains as entrenched as ever. In addition to falling approval ratings, it also appears as though President Donald Trump now has to share the spotlight with previous President Barack Obama when it comes to the current state of the U.S. economy. Trump, who wastes no time taking credit for any positive economic indicators, also points the finger of blame at Obama when dark economic clouds surface. However, American voters are split on which of the two deserve what credit.
A new poll shows that 45% of American voters think Trump is responsible for the improving economic conditions in the U.S. But an equal number say Obama’s economic policies are in fact responsible for the current state of the U.S. economy. One-tenth of voters, meanwhile, are not sure.
Regardless of who American voters think should get the credit, most would pat themselves on the back, given the choice. A strong majority (62%) think they would make better decisions when it comes to economic issues facing the country. What’s more, just 28% of Americans trust the president’s judgment over their own.
Back in March, when the U.S. economy was trudging along and soft economic data was rolling in, almost half of the country (49%) blamed the economic issues on the recession that began when George W. Bush was president. Meanwhile, 40% said it was due to Obama’s policies, and in March, 57% trusted their own judgment on economic issues more than Obama.
Uncertainty on who to give credit to for the U.S. economy is split along party lines. A full 71% of Republicans think Trump deserves more credit for improving economic conditions, while 68% of Democrats say the glory should go to Obama.
Independent voters give Trump a slight edge over Obama at 44% to 42%. That said, 14% are undecided.
Democrats and independents are more certain of their understanding of economic issues than Republicans are. 77% of Democrats and 59% of independent voters trust themselves more than the president when it comes to economic issues. Republican voters, on the other hand, are split on the matter, with 48% saying they trust themselves more and 41% saying they have greater confidence in President Trump.
In addition to party affiliation, gender and age also play a role in saying which president is responsible for the U.S. economy. Those over 40 and men are more likely to say that Trump should be given credit for the U.S. economy, while women and those under 40 are more apt to give credit to Obama and his policies.
“Voters Credit Obama As Much As Trump For Improving Economy,” Rasmussen Reports, October 12, 2017.