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Poll: Voters Doubt Presidential Power Over Economy

Most respondents see unchanged or higher unemployment in a year


As the presidential race ramps up to full campaign frenzy, both President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP standard bearer Mitt Romney are touting their plans to jump-start the stalled U.S. economy — while denouncing each other at the same time.

According to a new poll, they needn’t bother. At least half of Americans don’t think the president – any president – can fix the economy.

A telephone survey of 1,007 adults conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications for the Associated Press found that about 50% of respondents think the president has little or no control over the economy.

Two-thirds of people responding to the poll said the economy remained poor. The same number expect unemployment levels to remain unchanged or increase over the coming twelve months. Six out of 10 respondents said the president can do little or nothing to boost employment.

More Republicans than Democrats said they expected the election results to impact the economy, which suggests a little more enthusiasm in the GOP camp.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given recent Congressional bickering, 55% of those surveyed said neither candidate can do much about the budget deficit.

The fact that so many Americans are depressed about the economy isn’t good news for the president. That so many doubt that anyone can fix the situation isn’t good news for the country.

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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