A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday the proportion of people who believe the United States is on the wrong track rose seven points to 64 percent from February, in a fresh challenge to President Barack Obama.
It was the highest number of people in an Ipsos poll who think the country on the wrong track since Obama took office in January 2009. The survey comes as many indicators show an improving U.S. economy.
Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said the rating was a direct result of gasoline prices that have risen sharply in recent weeks amid tumult in North Africa and the Middle East.
“We are moving into a scenario in the near-term that is much more uncertain given the issue of gas prices,” he said. “Gas prices specifically are things that affect people’s pocketbooks and have an immediate impact.”
Love the “blame the gas prices” meme. Catchy. Meanwhile polls for months have shown people want to solve state and federal fiscal problems by taxing the wealthiest. What do politicians do? Drop taxes on the wealthy and refuse to tax them period. Polls show a majority don’t want to cut social programs, pensions, education, and other critical supports people need to survive. What do politicians do? Cut social programs, cut education budgets, try to cut pensions, and do what they can to destroy the safety net that protects 99.8% of Americans who are not wealthy.
Yet none of that dynamic — the public wants policies that benefit the majority, politicians cater instead to the minority of wealthy privileged people who crashed the economy — none of that dynamic makes it into the analysis. It’s the gas prices, stupid. Indeed, their polling on taxes and budget cuts shows the opposite of other more numerous polls.