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Decision 2012: Obama Re-Election Threatened by Failure to Develop Solid Jobs Plan

Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Rate, 2000-2010

The economy is really bad right now, so it is no surprise that it is hurting President Barack Obama. While his job approval numbers are not yet terrible (47 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove), drilling further down into the results from the new NBC/WSJ poll (PDF), danger is lurking for Obama if the job market doesn’t turn around in the next year or two.

With the economy and jobs the top issue for voters by far, Obama’s current poll numbers on the economy should scare the administration. Only 44 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, while 52 percent disapprove. Only 37 percent are very confident or quite confident that Obama has the right policies to improve the economy, less than the 39 percent who are not at all confident that he has the right plan. The economy is the one issue where people most think Obama has fallen short of expectations. What might be most concerning of all from a political perspective is that for the first time since 2004, more people think the Republican party would do a better job dealing with the economy than the Democratic party, 34 percent to 31 percent.

Poll numbers going down for the president and party in power while is unemployment 9.5 percent with little sign of a quick turnaround is to be expected. If things don’t start to improve in the economy, further serious erosion of these poll numbers will be inevitable.

Heading into the 2012 presidential election, if unemployment is in the eight to nine percent range, and around 58 percent still think that the nation is on the wrong track, I am here to say that there is simply no way Obama can win re-election, even with a brilliant campaign strategy. That is why the only important political news about the 2012 election, from my perspective, is what Obama plans to do to get the country back to something even close to full employment. As it currently stands, his plan seems mainly to be the one-two punch of hope and pray. That should worry Democrats far more about Obama’s re-election prospects than any poll numbers, enthusiasm gap or potential Republican nominee.

CommunityElections

Decision 2012: Obama Re-Election Threatened by Failure to Develop Solid Jobs Plan

The economy is really bad right now, so it is no surprise that it is hurting President Barack Obama. While his job approval numbers are not yet terrible (47 percent approve and 48 percent disapprove), drilling further down into the results from the new NBC/WSJ poll (PDF), danger is lurking for Obama if the job market doesn’t turn around in the next year or two.

With the economy and jobs the top issue for voters by far, Obama’s current poll numbers on the economy should scare the administration. Only 44 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of the economy, while 52 percent disapprove. Only 37 percent are very confident or quite confident that Obama has the right policies to improve the economy, less than the 39 percent who are not at all confident that he has the right plan. The economy is the one issue where people most think Obama has fallen short of expectations. What might be most concerning of all from a political perspective is that for the first time since 2004, more people think the Republican party would do a better job dealing with the economy than the Democratic party, 34 percent to 31 percent.

Poll numbers going down for the president and party in power while is unemployment 9.5 percent with little sign of a quick turnaround is to be expected. If things don’t start to improve in the economy, further serious erosion of these poll numbers will be inevitable.

Heading into the 2012 presidential election, if unemployment is in the eight to nine percent range, and around 58 percent still think that the nation is on the wrong track, I am here to say that there is simply no way Obama can win re-election, even with a brilliant campaign strategy. That is why the only important political news about the 2012 election, from my perspective, is what Obama plans to do to get the country back to something even close to full employment. As it currently stands, his plan seems mainly to be the one-two punch of hope and pray. That should worry Democrats far more about Obama’s re-election prospects than any poll numbers, enthusiasm gap or potential Republican nominee.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com