Election 2012 between Obama and Whoever will (as everyone says) turn on issues of the economy and jobs, rather than foreign policy. No president since Roosevelt has been re-elected with such dismal unemployment numbers.
Obama's tactic will be to say to the American people, "Look, I've tried to get bills passed that will help stimulate the economy and put people back to work. The problem is that I've been blocked by an obstructionist GOP Congress."
Are people buying that?
A New Washington Post poll asks people to choose between two options. This: “President Obama is making a good faith effort to deal with the country’s economic problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics by blocking his proposals and programs.” Or this: “President Obama has not provided leadership on the economy, and he is just blaming the Republicans in Congress as an excuse for not doing his job.”
The toplines: Americans agree with the first statement over the second one, 50-44.
At first blush, that's not good news for Obama. His "it's not my fault" message wins, but barely. Probably not enough to sway voters.
But the news gets better — much better — when you view the breakdown.
According to numbers, the "obstructionist GOP" meme is more pronounced among moderates and independents:
* Independents favor statement one over statement two by 54-40.
* Moderates favor statement one over statement two by 57-37.
The overall number is lower, at 50 percent, because a hilarously meager nine percent of Republicans believe this to be the case. And they are not going to vote for Obama anyway.
This, then, is good news. Many swing voters (independents and moderates) are already pre-disposed to thinking that Obama is not to blame for failing to get us on the right track (and indeed, he isn't). And this is before Obama goes into full campaign mode.