Suffolk University (PDF). 10/26-30. Registered voters. MoE ±3.8% (no trendlines):
Q: Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to insure that Barack Obama is not reelected?
I find these numbers to be a cause for optimism—it shows that if Barack Obama and Democrats in general are willing to make this argument, it will meet with a receptive audience. (As Steve Benen notes, Florida may be only one state, but "it’s a large, diverse swing state that both parties take very seriously" and which I think is decently representative.) Greg Sargent, however, sounds pessimistic:
Of course, the natural follow up question is important: Will this matter? The Suffolk poll contains no signs that it does. Obama’s approval is at 41 percent in this key swing state, versus 50 percent who disapprove. He’s tied with likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 42-42. An equal number — 29 percent — say they will vote either Democratic or Republican “no matter what,” with another 13 percent saying they will only vote Democratic if the economy gets better, meaning Dems will be held accountable.
As I’ve been saying, it’s very possible that the GOP will benefit politically from blocking Obama’s jobs policies, even though they have majority support. This new Florida poll raises another possibility: That Republicans may benefit from blocking Obama’s policies even though voters accept the idea that they’re sabotaging the economy for political reasons.
The question is this: Even if voters are persuaded that this is the case, will they chalk it up to mere politics and still hold Obama accountable for failing to get his policies through in spite of politically-motivated GOP obstructionism? Will voters who don’t grasp the realities of filibuster abuse conclude that whatever the motives of Republicans, Obama’s failure to get around them proves he’s weak or ineffective?
Both Benen and Sargent suggest further national polling on this subject. I agree, and the good news is that we'll be including this exact question in our national poll this weekend. Look for the results early next week.