The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose in August. But the sales were driven by an increase in foreclosures, a sign that home prices could fall further next year and slow a housing recovery.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that home sales rose 7.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million homes. That’s below the 6 million that economists say is consistent with a healthy housing market.
A slight majority of Americans for the first time blame President Obama either a great deal (24%) or a moderate amount (29%) for the nation's economic problems. However, Americans continue to blame former President George W. Bush more. Nearly 7 in 10 blame Bush a great deal (36%) or a moderate amount (33%).
Gallup found a substantially wider gap in public perceptions of how much responsibility Bush and Obama each bore for the economy when it first asked the question in July 2009, the sixth month of Obama's presidency. That narrowed by March 2010, caused mainly by a jump in the percentage blaming Obama a great deal or moderate amount, and has since changed relatively little. However, the results from a new Sept. 15-18 USA Today/Gallup poll are the first showing a majority of Americans, 53%, assigning significant blame to Obama. Forty-seven percent still say he is "not much" (27%) or "not at all" (20%) to blame.
[A]bout 6 in 10 political independents believe both presidents bear considerable blame. That is not good news for Obama. In his re-election campaign, he will likely try to convince independents that although the economy hasn't markedly improved on his watch, his policies prevented the bad economic situation he inherited from Bush from becoming even worse.
President Barack Obama has his work cut out for him on the campaign trail. According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, 49% of registered voters nationally say they definitely plan to vote against the president in next year’s election. 36% say they will cast their ballot for Mr. Obama, and 15% are unsure. This is the highest proportion of voters since November 2010 who say they don’t think they will back the president in his re-election bid. At that time, 48% said they would definitely vote against him.