More likely voters think the economy would improve under Mitt Romney than under Barack Obama – but they disproportionately blame Obama's predecessor for its troubles in the first place, an example of the mixed sentiments that undergird the deadlocked 2012 election.
Fifty-four percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll express at least some confidence the economy would improve under Romney; fewer, 47 percent, think the same if Obama's re-elected. Then again, far fewer in either case are "very" confident of economic gains – 19 percent if Romney wins, 21 percent if it's Obama – hardly a rousing endorsement of either.
While Obama falls 7 percentage points short of Romney in this measure, he does far better in another: Despite his tenure at the helm, just 36 percent of likely voters say Obama is chiefly responsible for the country's current economic problems. Fifty-one percent instead still blame his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, three years and nine months after he left office.