The positive future for the economy is also taking a negative turn. In February, over one-third of Americans (34%) said they expected the economy to improve in the coming year, one-quarter (25%) thought it would get worse and two in five (42%) believed it would stay the same. This month, just one-quarter (26%) expect the economy will improve in the coming year, one-third (33%) say it will get worse and two in five (41%) believe it will stay the same.
Confidence in the White House
Along with declining job approval numbers, there is also a lack of confidence in the White House's ability to fix the current economic crisis. Soon after President Obama took office, in March of 2009, almost three in five Americans (57%) said they were confident that the White House and the Administration would produce policies to help fix the economic crisis. Almost a year later, in June of 2010 that number had dropped to just two in five U.S. adults (39%) who said they were confident that the White House would produce policies to fix the economic crisis while 61% said they were not confident. That number continues to fall and as now two-thirds of Americans (67%) say they are not confident the White House will produce policies to fix the economic crisis and just 33% are confident.
While nine in ten Republicans (91%) say they are not confident there is also a growing lack of confidence among Independents and even Democrats. Almost three-quarters of Independents (73%) say they are not confident in the White House's ability to fix the economic crisis and just 27% are confident. The numbers are better among members of the President's own party as almost three in five Democrats (59%) say they are confident, but this also leaves 41% of Democrats who are not confident in the Administration's ability to produce policies to fix the economic crisis.
The debt ceiling
One thing the White House also has to deal with in the upcoming months is the issue of the debt ceiling and whether it should be raised or not. Only one in five Americans (21%) are in favor of raising the debt ceiling while almost half (45%) are not in favor of raising it. What is telling and shows how confusing the situation is, is that one-third of U.S. adults (34%) are not at all sure.
If the debt ceiling is not raised, the government will need to at least temporarily stop paying for certain things to conserve funds. One-third of Americans (32%) say they government should temporarily stop paying civil servants while around one in ten say they should stop paying military personnel (11%), Medicare (9%) and Social Security (8%). But, over half of U.S. adults (56%) say that none of these four areas should stop receiving payments if the debt ceiling is not raised.
It may still be 16 months away, but the presidential election is already in full swing as the Republicans begin campaigning to see who will challenge President Obama next November. And, they are mostly all talking about one thing – the economy. This is for good reason. The American public is still anxious about how the economy is going and President Obama is the one who is getting the blame for this at the moment. How this plays out in the GOP nomination fight as well as in the general election is still up in the air, but it is clear the economy will be in the spotlight.