The new Washington Post poll on the economy is out, and for the life of me, I can't quite figure out how to interpret the results:

Overall, voters split about evenly on the failed bill -- 45 percent supported it, 47 percent opposed it. Among the reasons for the tepid public reception is that there is a roughly even divide about whether government efforts will prevent the financial situation from deteriorating further still.

Clear enough, right? But wait:

Nearly nine in 10 expressed concern that the failure of the bill could lead to a more severe economic decline, including a slim majority calling themselves "very worried."

Hmm. Are these two findings not roughly contradictory? And then there is the poll's most publicized finding:

Asked to assess responsibility for the legislation's failure, 44 percent said Republicans were the reason, 21 percent said the Democrats and 17 percent said both sides were responsible.

Is this a good thing for the Democrats, or not? Are the people who say that Republicans blocked the bill actually happy that the GOP did so? Suffice it to say that there are no easy answers.

--Isaac Chotiner