44% Now Say The Economy Is Getting Worse

August 01, 2012, 4:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 7/28/2012) One major problem the President faces in his re-election campaign is the lagging economy. Perceptions of how the economy is faring have lately been trending in the wrong direction for his re-election chances. In this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll, 44% of all adults – the highest percentage since late 2011 – believe the economy is getting worse.

This negative evaluation rose in early June, after the first of two months of bad jobs reports. It has not dropped since then. In fact, it rose four points in the last week. The next unemployment report will be out later this week.

The economy remains the country’s most important issue; the President gets only a 35% approval rating on it. Just 42% approve of the way he is handling his job overall.

This poll also finds evidence that many Americans think the President’s re-election would be more likely to result in higher deficits, more government spending, higher taxes, and higher unemployment than if Mitt Romney wins. Democrats are historically seen as more favorable than Republicans when it comes to increasing spending and raising taxes, but they also frequently are viewed as better when it comes to jobs. In this poll, the opposite is the case. 39% say the unemployment rate will be higher if the President is re-elected; 22% think it will rise more if the Republican wins.