Majority Think Presidential Winner Won’t Have Big Impact on Jobs
Even though jobs are a top issue for Americans this year, relatively few think whoever wins the presidential election will make a big difference to unemployment. According to a AP-Gfk poll a large majority, 59 percent, think whoever wins this November will have no or only just some impact on the unemployment. Only 40 percent think it will have a large impact.
The basic inability of President Obama to significantly improve the unemployment problem during his tenure has apparently left most Americans pessimistic about any president’s ability to make the situation better. I also imagine the total gridlock that has come to define Congress in the era affects this view. Routine use of filibusters has understandably left people believing that since nothing gets passed, it doesn’t really matter who is elected.
Ironically this pessimism about any president’s ability to improve the economy may help Obama. After all, about the only area where people give Romney higher marks than Obama is on who is best able to handle the economy. Obama is viewed more favorably overall, is seen as more likeable and has the edge on most other subjects polled. The less people think that whoever wins actually matters for the economic situation the less able Romney is to exploit the one area over which he has a small advantage.
Long term though I think it is extremely bad news for democracy when the populace starts believing elections don’t matter. A system that doesn’t allow the winners to govern as they promised will likely be quickly undermined by a self feeding cycle of cynicism