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Obama’s Middle Class Focus Too Late?

The group on which President Barack Obama says he has renewed his focus does not think the commander-in-chief has very much credibility.

President Obama delivers his weekly address
President Obama delivers his weekly address (YouTube)

That’s according to a nationwide Monmouth University poll released this afternoon. Last week, Obama announced a major refocus on the nation’s middle class.

Less than half (46 percent) of the Americans surveyed believe the president when he says this, while exactly half (50 percent) do not believe him. Most Democrats (78 percent) think the president is telling the truth, but almost all Republicans (87 percent) don’t. 54 percent of Independents are skeptical. 42 percent think the president’s claim is legit.

“Given Pres. Obama’s track record with the middle class, this new focus may be seen as too little too late,” says Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey. “Of course, some of the problem may lie in the acrimonious relationship between the President and the House of Representatives.”

According to many of those polled, Obama has always put the rich and the poor above the middle class. Just 12 percent of Americans feel the middle class has benefited a lot from Obama’s policies and 39 percent say it has benefited a little. Almost half (46 percent) say middle class families have not benefited at all.  This is significantly higher than the number who say no benefits have been seen by Wall Street (14 percent), wealthy families (23 percent), health insurers (26 percent), or even poor families (37 percent).

The survey also finds 42 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s overall job performance while 51 percent disapprove. Just 28 percent feel the country is headed in the right direction and almost two-thirds (63 percent) say it is on the wrong track.

The poll was conducted by telephone with a national random sample of 1,012 adults age 18 and older from July 25 to 30, 2013. This margin of error is + 3.1 percent.

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