Sometimes polls speak for themselves. This one is from CBS (MoE +/- 3):
A majority of Americans have a negative impression of the economy and expect the effects of the recession to linger for years, according to a new CBS News poll.
Most also say President Obama has spent too little time on the economy, which Americans cite as the country's most important problem by a wide margin.
Three in four Americans now say the effects of the recession will last another two years or more. More than eight in 10 say the condition of the economy is bad, up five points from last month.
Just 25 percent of Americans say the economy is getting better - down from 41 percent in April. About half say it is staying the same, and the remaining quarter stay it is getting worse.
More than half of Americans - 52 percent - say Mr. Obama has spent too little time dealing with the economy.
And with unemployment near 10 percent, the economy is their priority: Thirty-eight percent volunteer it as the country's most important problem. That far outpaces the percentage that cited the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan (seven percent), health care (six percent), the deficit (five percent), and the oil spill in the Gulf (five percent).
Want to take credit for saving the economy? Do a better job explaining it. A majority (56%) think the stimulus didn't do anything. We also learn that 18% of the country is incapable of rational analysis - they think it hurt the economy. Specifically:
The Issues: Economic Priorities
Most Americans - 53 percent - say the best way to get the economy moving is to cut taxes. Thirty-seven percent instead choose government spending on job creation.
Americans are split about how the federal government should spend its money: Forty-six percent say the priority should be spending to create jobs, and 47 percent want to put the focus on deficit reduction.
More than half want Congress to extend unemployment benefits now, a Democratic priority that has been blocked by Congressional Republicans.
Most polls show the split between job creation and deficit reduction. This one highlights the focus on tax cutting over spending. But if you want to spend it on unemployment benefits, that's fine with the public.
In addition, there are some specifics on specific issues you can find here:
None of those are good news for Administration positions, but each has its nuance. For example on health reform:
While the new poll shows a recent drop in support, the numbers have still improved overall since March, when 53 percent of Americans disapproved of the new laws and 32 percent said they approved of them.
Most Republicans and independents disapprove of the reform package, the poll finds, while most Democrats approve of it. ...
When asked to name the country's most important problem, 6 percent named health care - about the same percentage of Americans who named the federal deficit (5 percent) and the Gulf oil spill (5 percent). The most cited problem by far, at 38 percent, was the economy.
The deficit ranks behind health care in importance. Right now, it's all about jobs.
Today, the poll finds, 62 percent of Americans say the war is going badly, up from 49 percent in May. Just 31 percent say the war in Afghanistan is going well.
Nine years into the war, 33 percent of Americans say they do not want large numbers of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another year. Twenty-three percent of Americans say they are willing to have troops stay there for one or two more years.
Just 35 percent are willing to have troops stay longer than two years.
Most Americans -- 54 percent -- think the U.S. should set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Forty-one percent disagree.
While the majority is willing to give it a year, the majority is also not willing to give it two.
For perspective, CBS polls are searchable (go here). For all the various issues people care about, none matter more than the economy. These are from last month:
July's numbers are similar to June's: "Worse" isn't the issue (25%). "Same" is still 48%, and until that starts dropping, the electorate will be in an unforgiving mood, even as they appreciate many of the policies under attack. For example, on the drilling moratorium:
Until and unless the economy is perceived as moving ahead, expect more polls to show the same.