President Barack Obama certainly has his work cut out for him regarding the U.S. economy on the need to create jobs, but a new Qunnipiac University Poll indicates Americans think his predecessor, George W. Bush, is more-responsible for the economy's current condition.

Roughly 71 percent of poll respondents -- American voters -- said the country is in a recession (technically, it is growing at slow rate), but 54% of respondents said Bush is to blame for the nation's current economic condition, while 27 percent said Obama is to blame.

The American people aren't very happy about their leaders, but President Barack Obama is viewed as the best of the worst, especially when it comes to the economy, Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said Thursday, in a statement. Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of President Obama's handling of the economy, but by 2-1 they pin the blame on former President George W. Bush rather than Obama, who is now more than 60 percent through his term of office.

Further, on the debt limit, Republicans need to be careful. Voters, by a margin of 48-34 percent, voters said Republicans should be blamed if the debt ceiling is not raised.

What's more, by 67-25 percent margin, voters say an agreement to raise the debt ceiling should include tax increases on the wealthy and corporations, not just spending cuts.

Also, by a 57-30 percent margin, voters say President Obama's proposals to raise revenue amount to closing loopholes, not tax hikes.

The Qunnipiac University Poll was conducted July 5-11, 2001, surveyed 2,311 registered voters, and has a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

Political/Public Policy Analysis: The poll on blame for the condition of the U.S. economy is small solace for President Obama. That's because survey research also confirms that the American people use a presidential election as a referendum on the current president, and a big variable or issue in that voting equation usually is the economy.

In other words, if the U.S. economy is strong, the American people re-elect the current president (or party in power) whether or not they created the favorable conditions. Conversely, if the economy is not doing well -- and particularly if the U.S. unemployment rate is high -- voters vote out of office the sitting president (or party in power).

Given the above, the task for President Obama is obvious: create jobs and lower the nation's high unemployment rate.