Does the public really believe that Republicans in Congress are deliberately trying to sabotage the economy in order to hurt President Obama? Two polls have suggested that about half the country thinks so, but with considerable disagreement about how widespread this belief is. Obviously liberals and Democrats believe this, but do conservatives and Republicans? A Florida poll last week suggested that a surprising number of them do: about a quarter of Republicans and a third of conservatives. But a Washington Post poll that asked a similar question garnered only 9% agreement from Republicans.
Today we have a tiebreaker, courtesy of a PPP poll commissioned by Daily Kos. This is a nationwide poll and asks the question directly:
Until something better comes along, this strikes me as fairly definitive. The question is straightforward and difficult to misinterpret, and the results aren’t limited to a single state. Basically, about half of independents — mostly Dem-leaning independents, I’d guess — believe that Republicans are deliberately sabotaging the economy, and about 15% of Republicans believe this about their own party.
In a way that’s a surprisingly high number, but it’s probably not high enough to really have a big impact. Obama still has some work ahead of him if he wants to push this number high enough to really make a difference.