Free Markets, Free People

Does the economy doom Obama’s re-election hopes?

I’m beginning to wonder if the Republicans can run just about anyone for President (note the qualifier – “just about” – not everyone, even among the declared candidates) and win given this economy and this president:

Americans’ disapproval of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy and its growing budget deficit has reached new highs amid broad frustration over the slow pace of economic recovery, according to a Washington Post-ABC New poll released on Tuesday.

The ratings boost Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated with his job approval rating back to 47 percent. Forty-nine percent disapprove of his performance.

Obama’s approval rating bounced to 56 immediately after bin Laden was killed last month.

But it went back to a plurality very quickly.  On the key issue, however, it hasn’t returned to a particular percentage – it’s gotten worse.  Much worse:

Fifty-nine percent, a new high, gave Obama negative marks for his handling of the economy, up from 55 percent a month earlier.

Obama’s approval rating on the deficit issue hit a new low of 33 percent, down 6 points since April.

Anyone who doesn’t understand that is where the election will be decided hasn’t been paying attention to politics very long.  Bill Clinton knew it when he rode to victory on his “It’s the economy, stupid”.   Ronald Reagan knew it when he continually asked, “are you better off now than you were 4 years ago”?   And Barack Obama would probably kill to have the economic problems Jimmy Carter faced – not that he’d do any better than Carter.

The point is, in bad economic times, incumbents have a tough road ahead of them at election time.  That’s because economic issues, joblessness, insecurity and fear are felt and understood by everyone.   Pocketbook issues are personal issues.   And the public has always voted those issues in general elections – much to the disadvantage of incumbent politicians, especially presidents.  There’s a number going around out there which claims that no president  since FDR has been re-elected with unemployment over 7.2% .  Of course keep in mind only a some of them since then have run for re-election and not all of them had bad unemployment numbers at the time.   The point, however, is that this sort of issue is critical to re-election chances.

The survey reflects a broadly pessimistic public mood as high gasoline prices, sliding home values and high unemployment numbers raised concerns about the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, The Washington Post said.

Eighty-nine percent of Americans say the economy is in bad shape; 57 percent say the recovery has not started and 66 percent said the United States was seriously on the wrong track.

Forty-five percent said they trust congressional Republicans over Obama to handle the economy, up 11 points since March.

If much of what is listed in the first paragraph isn’t improving fairly dramatically when 2012 arrives, Obama is in for a long year and, just guessing here, an “upset” loss.  The shine has worn off.  The cache of electing a black president has run its course.  History has been made.  And now the results part of the show come to bear.   Having been a moment in history won’t save Obama if the economy still sucks as badly as it does now.

My dad used to always tell us boys, “you live between your ears”, meaning attitude was critical to how you approached life and overcame obstacles.  Attitude is also critical in economies.  Pessimism isn’t the predominant mood one wants within the citizenry when they’re hoping to see it turn around.   And it certainly isn’t the mood a president wants through out the lane when he’s running for re-election.

Yeah, this is going to be an interesting year and a half until election day 2012.  I’m betting it’s not better economically and, again depending on who the GOP eventually nominates, Republicans stand to win the election.  Or, and you heard it here first with all the caveats – it is most likely the Republican’s election to lose.

Of course, knowing them, I have little doubt they can manage to do that.


Twitter: @McQandO


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6 Responses to Does the economy doom Obama’s re-election hopes?

  • With 9.4 % unemployment.  Gas will be above the $5 a gallon mark by next year.  The double dip recession will have hit.  Obama will still be blaming Bush.  The only way he will have a chance of reelection is to dump Biden and pick Hillary as VP.   The GOP needs to keep hammering Obama’s own words against him  and I paraphrase “Under my policies energy prices will nescessary skyrocket”,  “Anyone who tries to open a coal plant will go bankrupt.”     Draw a line from cause to effect.  Put a > at the end and a picture of Obama. 

  • BTW in 2012 I am voting for ABO.


  • This is going to be the nastiest election fight in decades.  Obama has exactly 1 good accomplishment to run on (bagging Osama) and that’s not something that addresses the core problem the people care about. He’s going to have to run dirty. His allies are gonna have to run dirty as possible to deflect.

    Paul Ryan pushing granny over the cliff?  Saying the GOP “literally” wants to bring back Jim Crow?   Merely the blandest tip of the vitriol iceberg that awaits.  You already got a taste of it when Obama told Hispanics that the GOP were their “enemies” – and I don’t even expect him to be that subtle going forward.

  • All anyone needs to know about Barack Obama is that he began his political career in the living room of two domestic terrorists who conspired to murder hundreds of U.S. soldiers with a bomb at Fort Dix.  With this information readily available, even if it was not headlined by the media, we elected such a man to lead our government and be commander-in-chief of our armed forces.  If that meant nothing before, whatever he does or doesn’t do in the intervening four years will have no impact on his re-election prospects.

  • My fear about the 2012 election is that the percentage of voters who rely directly and indirectly on the federal government has reached the point that a majority of the voters will vote for Obama, or ANY democrat, that promises to keep the bread and circuses going.   Voters vote “their pocketbook”.  Well, for a lot of voters that pocketbook is the federal government.  The worse the economy, the more voters rely on D.C. to pay bills.  It could be we’ve reached the tipping point where moochers and looters now outnumber producers, and the votes will go the wrong way.

  • I don’t know why you are talking down the economy.  Didn’t you know that over two million jobs have been created in the last fifteen months?  And that manufacturing, spearheaded by the revived Big Three, is rebounding?  That prosperity is just around the corner?

    Yeah, I didn’t know that, either.  Apparently, nobody who isn’t named Barrack Hussein Obama knows it.  Double-plus secret… UNTIL TODAY!

    [T]he overall trend that we’ve seen over the last 15 months — 2 million — over 2 million jobs created over the past 15 months — a rebounding of the manufacturing sector in the United States that’s exemplified by the recovery of the Big Three automakers here — all indicates that we have set a path that will lead us to long-term economic growth.

    / sarc

    I agree with shark: this is gonna be a nasty one.  The dems have absolutely nothing that they want to run on.  The economy’s in the dumper despite their having spent wasted trillions of dollars, the wars in Iraq and A-stan continue joined by the new war in Libya, the Wall Street fatcats who allegedly caused the recession are still fat (and some are even fatter depending on how much they gave to Captain Bullsh*t during his campaign), we don’t have a budget and haven’t had for nearly two years, and the national debt is ballooning like a teenage girl’s credit card bill.  So, all they can do is talk bad about whoever the GOP manages to nominate.  Racism, killing granny, starving poor kids with Down’s syndrome, poisoning our water, etc., etc., will be order of the day.  That hag Debbie Wasserman-Schulz has already started the ball; she makes Howlin’ Howie seem sane and reasonable.  I can’t wait to see what people like Cwissy Matthews, Andrea-Mitchell-NBC-News, Crazy Paulie, Brian I-can-tell-you-EXACTLY-what-Obama’s-a**-tastes-like Williams, manage to spew as the campaign really heats up.

    Oh, dear Lord, please help our country.