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Bloomberg Poll: Americans Blame Bush, Not Obama, for Deficit,

July 15, 2010

  Bloomberg Poll: Americans Blame Bush, Not Obama, for Deficit, Jobs, Afghan

Bush’s Response to Hurricane Katrina Worse than Obama’s Handling of Oil Spill,
                           According to Respondents

   Sixty Percent of Americans Say Bush Responsible for Current Situation in
         Afghanistan; Six in Ten Say War in Afghanistan a Lost Cause

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- July 15, 2010

Democrats, facing a U.S. electorate angry about the economy and other issues,
still have one political asset: George W. Bush.

The former Republican president is blamed more than President Barack Obama for
the budget deficit, unemployment and illegal immigration, according to a
Bloomberg National Poll conducted July 9-12.

Most surprising is that 60 percent say Bush is primarily responsible for the
current situation in Afghanistan. Just 10 percent point to Obama, who has
ordered 51,000 additional troops to that country since taking office, doubling
the number deployed by Bush.

“The public remembers the Bush years as a tumultuous time of costly wars, and
the years when a budget surplus became a deficit,” said J. Ann Selzer,
president of Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based firm that conducted the

When Obama entered office in January 2009, there had been 568 U.S. casualties
associated with the Afghanistan conflict, a number that has grown to 1,086, as
of yesterday, according to the Defense Department. The president has vowed to
start withdrawing forces in July 2011, with the pacing determined by
conditions on the ground.

Katrina, Gulf Spill

Asked to compare Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina with Obama’s handling of
the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 51 percent say Bush’s performance was
worse, while 35 percent name Obama. Republicans are more likely to pan Obama’s
performance on the oil spill, with 69 percent saying he did worse than Bush.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers share some of the blame for the country’s
problems, including the increasing cost of Medicare and Social Security, as
well the failure to fix the nation’s immigration system, according to the

The story is on at:

Bush’s Deficit

More blame Bush than Obama for the federal deficit, 32 percent to 24 percent.
Among Republicans, 39 percent say Obama is to blame, while about a quarter of
independents hold that view.

Obama gets more credit for increases in the stock market over the past year,
with 28 percent of Americans giving him recognition, compared with 13 percent
for Bush. Even among Republicans, a quarter give Obama credit for the

On unemployment, Bush is listed as most responsible by 32 percent, compared
with 22 percent for Obama. Those with incomes below $25,000 are more likely to
blame Bush for the unemployment rate, which was 9.5 percent in June.

The poll’s findings on Afghanistan contrast with Republican National Committee
Chairman Michael Steele’s comments July 1 that the war is “not something that
the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.” Steele
later amended his remarks after he was criticized by both parties and some
Republican leaders called for his resignation.

The poll also finds that almost 6 in 10 respondents (58%) say the war in
Afghanistan is a lost cause.

There isn’t a lot of buyer’s remorse when it comes to the 2008 presidential
election, the poll shows. Asked if things would be better or worse if the
Republican candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, had been elected, 37
percent say worse, 27 percent say better and 32 percent say things would be
the same.

Methodology: The Bloomberg National Poll is based on interviews with 1,004
U.S. adults ages 18 or older. Percentages based on the full sample may have a
maximum margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Bloomberg News
Kristin Swenson, +1 212-617-4264
Ty Trippet, +1 212-617-2443