President Obama who had hailed the last-minute deal that pulled America back from the “fiscal cliff”, issued a warning in his weekly address that he “will not compromise” over his insistence that Congress lift the government debt ceiling.
The President said in his radio and internet address that the fiscal cliff deal, approved by Congress late on New Year’s Day and signed on Thursday, raises tax on the wealthiest Americans while preventing a middle-class tax increase that could have thrown the economy back into recession.
With one crisis behind him, Mr Obama faces new battles in Congress over raising the country’s 16.4 trillion-dollar (£10.2 trillion) borrowing limit, as well as scaling back more than 100 billion (£62.5bn) in automatic spending cuts for the military and domestic programmes. The cuts are delayed by two months under the compromise.
Politicians promise to replace those across-the-board cuts with more targeted steps that could take longer to implement.
Mr Obama, speaking from Hawaii, where he is on holiday with his family, said he was willing to consider more spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit. But he said he would not compromise over lifting the debt ceiling.
The nation’s credit rating was downgraded the last time politicians threatened inaction on the debt ceiling, in 2011.
“If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic,” Mr Obama said. “Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.”
If elected officials from both parties “focus on the interests of our country above the interests of party, I’m convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue in a manner that reduces our deficit and protects the middle class”, he said.
In the Republican address, Rep Dave Camp of Michigan said that as attention again turned to the debt limit, “we must identify responsible ways to tackle Washington’s wasteful spending”.
Americans know that “when you have no more money in your account and your credit cards are maxed out, then the spending must stop”, he said.
Infighting has penetrated the highest levels of the House GOP leadership. Long-standing geographic tensions have increased, pitting endangered Northeastern Republicans against their colleagues from other parts of the country. Enraged tea party leaders are threatening to knock off dozens of Republicans who supported a measure that raised taxes on the nation’s highest earners.
“People are mad as hell. I’m right there with them,” Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, said late last week, declaring that she has “no confidence” in the party her members typically support. Her remarks came after GOP lawmakers agreed to higher taxes but no broad spending cuts as part of a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.”
“Anybody that voted ‘yes’ in the House should be concerned” about primary challenges in 2014, she said.
At the same time, one of the GOP’s most popular voices, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, blasted his party’s “toxic internal politics” after House Republicans initially declined to approve disaster relief for victims of Superstorm Sandy. He said it was “disgusting to watch” their actions and he faulted the GOP’s most powerful elected official, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Hopes of a pre-Christmas deal on the U.S. Fiscal Cliff appeared to be dissolving after The White House accused Republicans of mounting a pointless diversionary vote to prevent the looming year-end fiscal crisis.
If the two sides cannot reach a deficit-cutting agreement before the end of the year, taxes for all Americans will rise and huge automatic spending cuts will be triggered, which could cause a recession and jolt the global economy.
But talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on averting the “fiscal cliff” have stalled and Republicans now plan to vote on a fallback “Plan B” that the White House sees as pointless grandstanding.
However, Obama has vowed to veto the plan, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will not bring it up for a vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber. White House spokesman Jay Carney called it a “multi-day exercise in futility.”
Still, passage of Plan B could give Boehner the political cover he needs to strike a deal that would break with decades of Republican anti-tax orthodoxy.
“Time’s running short. I’m going to do everything I can to protect as many Americans from an increase in taxes as I can,” Boehner told a news conference.
Though it does not raise taxes on as many affluent Americans as Obama wants, the bill would put Republicans on record as supporting a tax increase on those who earn more than $1 million per year – a position the party opposed only weeks ago.
That could make it easier eventually to split the difference with Obama, who wants to lower the threshold to households that earn more than $400,000 annually. Obama also faces resistance on his left flank from liberals who oppose cuts to popular benefit programs, which Republicans say must be part of any deal.
Obama and Boehner will need to engage in more political theater to get lawmakers in both parties to sign on to the painful concessions that will have to be part of any deal to avert the cliff and rein in the national debt, analysts say.
Even as he pressured Obama and the Democratic Senate to approve his plan, Boehner indicated that he was not willing to walk away from the bargaining table.
“The country faces challenges, and the president and I, in our respective roles, have a responsibility to work together to get them a result,” Boehner said.
Obama and Boehner aim to reach a deal before the end of the year, when taxes will automatically rise for nearly all Americans and the government will have to scale back spending on domestic and military programs. The $600 billion hit to the economy could push the U.S. economy into recession, economists say.
Investors so far have assumed the two sides will reach a deal, but concerns over the fiscal cliff have weighed on markets in recent weeks. The S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks was up 0.4 percent in Thursday trading, despite a round of strong data on economic growth and housing.
Shares crept up after Boehner said he was prepared to work with Obama to prevent the fiscal cliff from kicking in.
Lawmakers are eager to wrap up their work and return home for the Christmas holiday, but congressional leaders kept the door open for last-minute action.
The Senate was expected to leave town on Thursday or Friday, but Reid said it could return next week to vote on any deal.
Boehner indicated the House would stay in session after Thursday’s vote, scheduled for 7:45 p.m. EST (0045 GMT on Friday).
Several influential conservative groups have condemned Plan B, and some Republicans are expected to vote against it. But passage appeared likely after the House narrowly voted by 219 to 197 to bring the bill to the floor for debate.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an influential business group that has often tangled with the Obama administration, offered grudging support.
To placate conservatives, Boehner also scheduled a vote on legislation that would shift $55 billion in scheduled defense cuts to cuts in food and health benefits for the poor and other domestic programs.
That measure also would roll back some of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reforms of 2010. It is not expected to become law.
President Obama appeared resolute in his stance on the “fiscal cliff” on Tuesday, insisting on higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans showed increasing disarray over how far they should go to compromise with Obama’s demands.
With less than a month left to confront the budget cuts and tax increases that will begin taking effect in January unless Congress acts, Obama dangled the possibility of lowering tax rates as part of a broad U.S. tax code revamp in 2013.
But he again insisted, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, that tax rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers must rise in any deal by the end of the year to avert the assorted measures known as the fiscal cliff.
Obama, a Democrat, may face resistance from his own party if and when he’s forced to be specific about how he would cut the cost of entitlements, such as the Medicare health insurance program for seniors.
For the moment, however, the overall political picture Tuesday reflected a relatively solid front of Democrats versus an increasingly shaky group of Republicans.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the Senate, even avoided endorsing the negotiating position of his House of Representatives ally, Speaker John Boehner.
“I think it is important that the House Republican leadership has tried to move the process forward,” McConnell told reporters trying to get his views on a proposal Boehner and the House Republican leadership sent to Obama on Monday.
Outside the capital, concern mounted about how and when – not to mention if – the politicians might put their disagreements behind them and deal conclusively with an issue that economists say could trigger another recession.
Corporate chief executives were scheduled to meet with Obama later on Wednesday. The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group for corporations, has arranged the meetings. In addition to prompt action on the fiscal cliff, the group is seeking tax cuts for their companies.
Boeing Co. CEO Jim McNerney, who chairs the group, said its members want “a balanced solution to the nation’s fiscal cliff and long-term deficit and debt issues … including meaningful and comprehensive tax and entitlement reforms.”
The manufacturing sector contracted in November and posted its weakest performance in three years, a report showed on Monday. Companies taking part in the survey said uncertainty over the negotiations in Washington was a factor.
U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday as investors fretted about Washington’s ability to avoid a year-end budget crisis.
On Capitol Hill, conservative South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint attacked Boehner, a fellow Republican, over Monday’s fiscal cliff offer, which included $800 billion (496.7 billion pounds) in revenue increases from overhauling the tax code, along with spending cuts and entitlement revisions, as part of a deficit reduction deal.
That amount, which Boehner informally accepted during previous debt-ceiling negotiations in 2011, was not enough to satisfy Obama. But it was too much for DeMint and other Republicans who have made opposition to tax increases of any kind a central part of their politics for many years.
“Speaker Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more,” DeMint said in a statement on Tuesday.
Signalling some worry about fragmented sentiment in the House, Republican leaders took the unusual step of removing two hard-line Tea Party conservatives, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas and Justin Amash of Michigan, from the House Budget Committee, where elements of a fiscal cliff deal are likely to be considered.
A few House Republicans, such as Mike Simpson of Idaho and Steve King of Iowa, have said tax increases on the wealthiest may be tolerable under certain conditions.
The president pressed his agenda on Tuesday, reiterating his openness to unspecified reforms in entitlement programs.
He repeated that as part of any deal, low tax rates on 98 percent of taxpayers should be extended, but that taxes on the top 2 percent should rise. “Let’s let those go up,” Obama said, referring to a “down payment” for future negotiations.
“And then let’s set up a process with a time certain, at the end of 2013 or the fall of 2013, where we work on tax reform, we look at what loopholes and deductions both Democrats and Republicans are willing to close, and it’s possible that we may be able to lower rates by broadening the base at that point.”
Fuelling concerns among some Republicans about resisting compromise are surveys, like one released by the Pew Research Centre on Tuesday, which showed that about 53 percent of those polled said they would hold Republicans more responsible than Democrats for going over the cliff; 27 percent said they would hold Obama responsible.
House Speaker John A. Boehner delivered a blow Thursday to the optimism that Washington leaders have been showing over negotiations on the fiscal cliff, saying that there’s been “no substantive progress” in attempts to reach a deal and that “the White House has to get serious” on entitlement spending.
Boehner said he was “disappointed” after a phone call with Obama on Wednesday night and a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday moved the two sides no closer to an agreement to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts that will be triggered at the start of 2013 unless Congress intervenes.
“I’m disappointed in where we are and disappointed in what’s happened over the last couple of weeks,” Boehner, of Ohio, told reporters after a private session with Geithner at the Capitol.
“No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House over the last two weeks,” he said. “There’s been no serious discussion of spending cuts so far, and unless there is, there’s a real danger of going off the fiscal cliff.”
Markets dipped briefly into negative territory on Boehner’s comments, continuing a pattern of gyration based on the latest utterance or headline about the outlook for an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff.
The tone was in sharp contrast to the one expressed on November 16, the last time Obama met with congressional leaders. Boehner then stood next to Democratic leaders and voiced optimism they could find common ground in fiscal cliff negotiations.
Complicating the debate on Thursday was a renewed fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling. That explosive issue, which could have been handled separately in the spring, was thrust into the fiscal cliff fray on Thursday in an exchange between Republicans and Democrats.
Boehner said any debt limit increase needed to be matched or exceeded by spending cuts to be proposed by Obama as part of the cliff negotiations.
White House spokesman Jay Carney responded by demanding that Congress go ahead and raise the debt ceiling as part of any year-end deal to avoid the cliff. To do otherwise, he said, would be “deeply irresponsible.”
The last partisan fight over the nation’s borrowing limit in 2011 was settled by a law that led directly to the fiscal cliff and to a downgrade of the government’s credit rating.
Geithner, Obama’s top negotiator in the talks, met with congressional leaders from both parties at the Capitol as the end-of-year deadline approaches to avoid the onset of $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts that analysts warn could push the U.S. economy back into recession.
The immediate issue is whether the tax cuts that originated in the administration of former President George W. Bush should be extended beyond December 31 for all taxpayers including the wealthy, as Republicans want, or just for taxpayers with income under $250,000, as Obama and his fellow Democrats want.
Republicans have said they are willing to consider new ways to raise revenue as long as Democrats and Obama agree to accompany it with significant spending cuts, particularly to entitlement programs like the government-sponsored Medicare and Medicaid healthcare plans.
“Without spending cuts and entitlement reform, it’s going to be impossible to address our country’s debt crisis. Right now, all eyes are on the White House,” Boehner said.
Boehner said Geithner and the administration had not offered any new plans during the meeting to break the impasse, while Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Democrats were still waiting for a “reasonable” proposal from Republicans.
Carney said the president had put forward “very specific spending cuts,” including some in the entitlement healthcare programs, but had not seen any movement from Republicans.
Despite a few cracks in Republican ranks, most notably from Republican Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, neither side has budged significantly in recent weeks from its position, leaving the markets and political analysts alike to grasp at wording nuances.
In the absence of progress, or any realistic understanding as to when or if Republicans and Democrats might avert the cliff or come up with some deficit reduction agreement, prodding has started to come on a regular basis from business leaders as well as Federal Reserve officials.
New York Fed President William Dudley and Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed, highlighted the problems that U.S. lawmakers were causing for both hiring and the economy with each day they fail to strike a deal to avoid a pending fiscal crisis.
Dudley said on Thursday that if it is not addressed, the economic contraction is likely to be larger than normal because interest rates are so low.
The post-election lame-duck session of Congress also has made clear that until the two sides get over the immediate tax issue, they will not be able to move forward on the serious discussions they desire on longer-term deficit reduction and tax reform.
Keeping the nation in suspense down to a white-knuckled deadline has become the rule rather than the exception for Congress in recent years.
Original source : The Independent (UK)
It has been less than a month since Mitt Romney was forced to abandon his 1,118-word victory speech, but already the Grand Old Party has begun the search for its great new hope, with many Republican heads turning in the direction of Texas and the name Bush… George Bush.
This isn’t a flashback. Nephew and grandson of ex-Presidents George W and George H W respectively, the young GOP dynast in question is George P Bush, the son of former Florida Governor (and potential presidential runner) Jeb Bush.
Even as talk turns to his father’s ambitions for 2016, 36-year old George’s decision to file preliminary paperwork to run for office in Texas in 2014 has whetted the appetite of more than a few Republican strategists. The Lone Star State was, after all, his uncle George W’s springboard to the White House.
As if this pedigree wasn’t enough, the P in his name is for Prescott, as in Senator Prescott Sheldon Bush, the first President Bush’s father. George the youngest is also half Hispanic. His mother, and Jeb Bush’s ex-wife, Columba Garnica Gallo, is a naturalised citizen originally from Mexico.
The heritage matters. On 6 November, exit polls showed that 10 per cent of the electorate was Hispanic, against 9 per cent in 2008 and 8 per cent in 2004. Many argue that Barack Obama, who received more than 70 per cent of the national Latino vote, compared with 27 per cent for Mr Romney, would have been out of a job without the community’s support.
Alive to the potency of his nephew’s genes, his uncle George W Bush wheeled him out for a bilingual speech (he speaks fluent Spanish) at the Republican Party Convention in 2000. By then he was already an experienced hand, having made his convention debut at the age of 12 in 1988, when his grandfather was nominated for the presidency.
His target in Texas remains unclear. The real estate investor, who served in Afghanistan with the US Navy and co-founded a political action committee called Hispanic Republicans for Texas, submitted paperwork appointing a campaign treasurer with the state’s ethics commission earlier this month in what is the first step for any candidate seeking state office. A subsequent email to supporters from his father Jeb suggested that he might be aiming for the Texas Land Commissioner’s office.
Meanwhile, attention is also turning to George’s father, who is being touted as a potential Republican nominee for the 2016 White House polls. Jeb Bush is said to be taking stock of his finances and place within the party, according to The New York Times, as he contemplates a run for the highest office in the land.
His son, and George P’s brother, Jeb Jnr, fanned speculation during a recent interview with CNN. Asked if he wanted to see his father make a bid, he replied: “I don’t know. No comment. I certainty hope so.”
U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, allowing Republican Rival Mitt Romney to use the latest disappointing report to criticize President Barack Obama over the economy and jobs, leaving the White House incumbent flat-footed on the defining issue of the 2012 race.
The Republican nominee seized on weak employment data to reclaim momentum on the campaign trail and double down on Obama, whose speech at the Democratic National Convention the previous night was criticized for lacking detail and dynamism.
“If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover,” Romney said in a written statement quickly issued by his campaign. “For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely. This is more of the same for middle-class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. After 43 straight months of unemployment above 8%, it is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. I don’t think the American people want four more years of the four last years. I think they want to see more jobs, they want to see their kids coming out of college able to get jobs, they want to see rising incomes again.”
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. But that was only because more people gave up looking for jobs. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they’re looking for a job.
The government also said Friday that 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the start of the year, below 2011′s average of 153,000. A net total of only 96,000 jobs were created, the unemployment rate remained above 8 percent, and nearly 370,000 more Americans simply gave up even looking for work
Coming on the heels of the two major parties’ conventions, the political stakes are high when it comes to jobs. Poll after poll show that voters are most concerned with the economy and the jobs markets and there are only two more monthly Labor Department reports due before the general election.
No president since the Great Depression has won re-election when the jobless rate was higher than 7.4 percent, the level at which Ronald Reagan won a landslide re-election in 1984. Given the current pace of job creation this year (139,000 jobs per month), the unemployment rate will likely remain above 8 percent by Election Day and probably by the end of the year as well.
During the past two weeks, the parties have released dueling narratives of the jobs situation: Republicans claim that progress is too slow and Democrats say that while the improvement may not be ideal, the damage was too vast to be repaired in a normal time frame.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last week said the labor market’s stagnation was a “grave concern,” a comment that raised expectations for a further easing of monetary policy. Economists said at the very least the Fed appeared set to push further into the future its conditional pledge to keep rates near zero through late 2014. Futures traders added to bets on Friday that the central bank would keep rates near zero until at least the second quarter of 2015.
The Democratic Party and President Obama gather this week in Charlotte, North Carolina with one task in mind, to fend off charges and a sense of disappointment many voters feel in the Obama Administration which had so much promise four years ago, but has fallen short in many voters eyes in terms of delivery, especially on the job and economic fronts.
Democrat’s will try and counter last week’s Republican National Convention, where rival Mitt Romney worked to pry away these same voters by painting an image of President Obama as a nice guy who isn’t up to the challenge.
President Obama must answer that charge directly by showing wavering voters what the next four years would look like if he is given a second term and try and rekindle some of the massive enthusiasm and romance of his historic election four years ago.
It will boil down to the now famous simple question, “”Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Asking Americans if they are better off than they were before the current president took over is hardly a new line in U.S. presidential politics, but Republicans ran with the phrase in their efforts to upstage the Democratic gathering.
They spent Sunday and Monday morning trying to highlight Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s answer of “No” when CNN asked him if Americans are better off than they were before Obama took office.
“By any measure the country has moved forward over the last four years; it might not be as fast as people hoped,” senior Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter told NBC’s “Today” show. “The president agrees with that. He knows we need to do more. That’s what this week is about, laying out a road map of how we can continue this progress, how we can continue moving the country forward.”
The Romney campaign kicked off the week’s counter-messaging Sunday night with a blistering preview of the Democratic convention, saying Obama “is going to give us a series of excuses, alibis and scapegoats.”
“Every president since the Great Depression, except Jimmy Carter and President Obama, who asked for a second term could look back at the last four years and say, “you are better off than you were four years ago,” it said in a statement.
President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden will be nominated for second terms on Wednesday night, when former President Bill Clinton takes the stage as star speaker. The Obama Campaign are going through huge efforts to try and stir voters and his Democratic base by booking the 73,000-seat Bank of America Stadium for the prime-time speech on Thursday night and are bussing in thousands of supporter’s from neighbouring states in an attempt to fill the stadium for the speech.
No matter how positive or roaring President Obama’s speech is Thursday night, any bounce in the polls is likely to be short-lived. U.S. National debt is set to pass the staggering $16 trillion dollar mark when the Convention opens Tuesday. It has soared by over $5.3 Trillion in less than four years under President Obama, and the president ran on a platform of debt reduction in 2008.
Friday morning see’s August U.S. Unemployment figures released with many expecting it to stay at 8% or above again. Since the President spent almost $1 Trillion on his much advertised stimulus plan, U.S. unemployment has not been below 8%. If you take into account unemployed and underemployed the real figure is closer to 23 million people or a staggering 14.9%, no incumbent since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won in those circumstances.
The President has already laid out the theme his party will hammer home at the Democratic National convention this week, declaring Republican challenger Mitt Romney wants to lead the country with failed and outdated ideas that go back to the last century.
On Thursday night, Obama, will try to convince voters that the recovery, though sluggish, is well under way, and that, if re-elected, he has a plan to boost the economy over the next four years. He is certain to attack Mitt Romney for wanting to give tax breaks to the wealthy and gut regulations, policies that he said led to the economic crisis that he inherited. But he also needs to persuade voters that he’s got a plan to grow the economy. He’s been talking for months about rebuilding the economy from the ground up, so that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone pays their fair share however; people have become tired of stirring speeches, they want a solid plan and believe that action will follow.
If there is any further disappointing news between now and November 6 election day, the mood of the nation may very well swing towards Romney and voters are not averse to jettisoning the incumbent if they feel President Obama cannot lead the nation to better economic times.
President Barack Obama enters Convention week tied with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Sunday, leaving the incumbent an opportunity to edge ahead of his opponent at the Democratic National Convention.
With the Democrats set to nominate Obama for a second term this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, the race to the presidential election on November 6 is all knotted up at 45 percent for Obama and 45 percent for Romney among likely voters, the survey found.
The findings were from the seventh day of a rolling online poll conducted for Reuters by Ipsos to judge voters’ attitudes around the political conventions.
A week ago, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Obama led Romney 46 percent to 42 percent. The Republican’s own convention last week in Tampa, Florida, gave him a small boost, vaulting him into an even position with Obama but no further.
Now Obama, who is to accept the nomination on Thursday, is poised to get his own convention bounce.
While each candidate won overwhelming support from voters in his own political party, Romney was leading Obama among all-important independent voters by 33 percent to 28 percent, the poll found.
Romney’s improvement on key attributes continued on an upward trajectory in the poll. On such issues as he “represents America,” “is a good person,” and “is eloquent,” Romney was essentially tied with Obama. On who is more likable, Romney had improved but still trailed Obama 32 percent to 48 percent, the poll found.
Republicans used their convention to play up the former private equity executive’s family and personal life. For Romney, one of the big tests of the Republican convention was to make him more of a human, make him a little more personable, make him more likable. This they succeeded in doing very well.
There has been no real movement in terms of candidate perceptions on any substantive policy areas such as healthcare, or even on which candidate is better in protecting American jobs. The poll suggested voters are waiting to hear what Obama has to say about the most pressing issue of the campaign, the U.S. economy and 8.3 percent unemployment.
With fewer than 70 days until Election Day, Obama, 51, and Romney, 65, have zeroed in on fewer than a dozen battleground states. After Iowa, the president plans stops over the next few days in Colorado, Ohio and Virginia before flying to Charlotte, N.C., to accept renomination. The five states combined, all won by Obama four years ago, hold 61 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
Romney will spend this week starting to prepare for his October debates against Obama, campaign strategist Kevin Madden told reporters yesterday. The former Massachusetts governor will huddle in Vermont with advisers including Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a veteran of debate preparation for Republican presidential nominees, to get ready for the three faceoffs, Madden said.
Asked whether the campaign was concerned about the prospect that Romney would surrender the media spotlight to Obama during the Democratic convention if he took a break from campaigning, Madden said: “We’ve spent a good deal of time on the campaign trail. We’ll still have surrogates out.”
The survey said 76 percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and 73 percent have a similar belief about jobs in the United States.
On the president’s signature issue of his first term, healthcare, 62 percent believe the healthcare system is on the wrong track. Obama led an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system that Republicans deeply opposed.
Interest in the political conventions is high. The poll found 82 percent of registered voters have seen, heard, or read at least something about the Republican convention.
But this dropped to 73 percent among independents and 66 percent among non-aligned registered voters, those who are undecided about how to vote or who say they will not vote.
The rolling poll measures sentiment during the two-week convention season by polling over the previous four days.
For the survey, a sample of 1,441 American registered voters was interviewed online. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for all respondents.
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