By Vicki Needham - 07/26/11 03:45 PM EDT
Nearly half of those polled trust President Obama more than congressional Republicans to solve the deficit and debt-limit issue, according to a poll released early Tuesday.
As the debt-limit issue continues to roil Congress, 34 percent of those asked said they "strongly" trust Obama (14 percent say "somewhat") while 28 percent say the same about Republicans, with 11 percent saying "somewhat" for the GOP, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
A majority of those asked still blame former President George W. Bush for harming the economy, with 57 percent saying his administration made the economic situation worse, compared with 37 percent for the Obama administration.
Congressional Republicans also get more blame than Obama, although barely, with 39 percent agreeing that they've made the economy worse.
When asked about the economy, 90 percent said it's not doing well, with 50 percent saying it's in poor condition.
Of those asked, 43 percent strongly disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy, with 45 percent saying the same about his handling of the budget deficit, 34 percent on taxes and 39 percent on job creation.
Strong disapproval on Obama's handling of the economy dropped to 43 percent from 49 percent a month ago, the highest level during his two years in office, according to the poll.
For Republicans in Congress, 67 percent "disapprove" of their handling of the economy, a 5 percentage-point change from 62 percent in April, while 68 percent feel the same about the budget deficit, 65 percent on job-creation policies and a 65 percent disapproval on taxes.
Unemployment has remained persistently high and now sits at 9.2 percent, with the expectation that it could only drop down to 9 percent by year's end.
The economic recovery was building steam until gas and food prices rose sharply in the spring, along with first-time claims for jobless benefits, which also had a steep increase.
Democrats and Republicans have played the blame game on jobs, with House Democrats criticizing the majority GOP for not passing any job-creation measures.
A strong majority still says jobs are difficult to find — 82 percent total — with 49 percent saying jobs are "very" hard to find.
Still, 71 percent say no one in their household has been laid off or lost their job in the last year, an improvement from December, although 71 percent say they know a friend or family member who has lost a job.