Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New poll finds Americans blame the Republicans for financial crisis, think Obama would do a better job than McCain on the economy

By Michael J.W. Stickings

I'm generally suspicious of most public opinion polling, but, taking it for what it is, I think Americans, or at least a significant plurality of them, are right about this:

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll suggests that by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks — one factor that may have contributed to an apparent increase in Barack Obama's edge over John McCain in the race for the White House.

In the new survey, released Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned say Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market, with 24 percent saying Democrats are more responsible. One in five of those polled blame both parties equally, and 8 percent say neither party is to blame.

The poll also indicates that more Americans think Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, would do a better job handling an economic crisis than McCain, the Republican presidential nominee. Forty-nine percent of those questioned say Obama would display good judgment in an economic crisis, 6 points higher than the number who said the same about McCain. And Obama has a 10 point lead over McCain on the question of who would better handle the economy overall.

McCain and his supporters/surrogates are predictably smearing Obama in response to the financial crisis, a sure sign that they have absolutely nothing to offer policy-wise other than more of what caused all this in the first place, namely, more and more de-regulation, more and more kowtowing to the fat cats on Wall Street and the bigwigs in the boardrooms across America, cutting taxes for the wealthy while slashing social programs for the poor and those otherwise in need, handing out massive corporate welfare subsidies while creating a climate for companies to ship jobs overseas, providing a safety net for failed businesses while seeking to privatize social security.

As well, McCain and his supporters/surrogates are contending that Obama is trying to score political points off the financial crisis, indeed, that he is actually happy about the crisis, just as he allegedly wants the U.S. to lose in Iraq. This is the McCain campaign at its most contemptible, or just about, using both the war and now the crisis to question not just Obama's patriotism but his very decency as a human being.

In truth, Obama is right about the war and about the economy, as well as about the current crisis, and speaking out is not a lamentable attempt to score political points but a genuine effort, while on the campaign trail, to offer real leadership and serious solutions, to present himself in stark contrast to his opponent, the one with the failed policies and the disgusting smears.

McCain can lie, deceive, and misrepresent all he wants, for such is what his campaign is all about, but, it seems, the American people have caught on. In a time of crisis, with all the uncertainty and insecurity in their lives, they are turning more and more to Obama.

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