Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at 9:16 AM
The Washington Post oh-so-rudely distracts us from our obsession with long-term debt and deficits and finds that people are still worried about the lousy economy. The highlights from the poll of 1,001 adults:
- 44 percent of people say the economy is "getting worse," the most who've said that since March 2009.
- 71 percent say gas prices have caused "financial hardship."
- 37 percent say it's getting harder to find a job.
The thing here is that the economic data argues against public opinion. As Eric Cantor tweeted the other day , the economy's added close to 500,000 jobs this year -- not amazing, but not a sign of the economy getting worse. But gas prices have increased rapidly, and that creates more financial pain for the employed and more pressure on people who want to look for jobs. How much gas can they burn as they look for one?
The poll has Barack Obama's approval rating falling back to pre-midterm low levels, and only 28 percent of people saying they'd definitely vote to re-elect him. None of that matters unless voters feel better about the economy. Which must be why he's... uh... talking about the deficit.