An astute political observer by the name of Machiavelli once said that “Anyone wishing to see what is to be must consider what has been”. Given that recent polls have shown the race for President to be essentially tied, a look at the “tale of the tape” from a current and historical perspective is in order.
No president since World War II has won re-election with an unemployment rate above 7.2%. The current rate is 8.3%, and has been above 8% for forty-two straight months. The economy is growing at an annual rate of just 1.5%, and the only president in recent years to run for re-election with a worse growth rate was Jimmy Carter.
The Consumer Confidence level is currently about 60%, which is historically (and electorally) awful, since it was 65% when Carter got clobbered by Reagan in 1980.
According to the Rasmussen Poll, a majority of Americans (54%) think that the economy and their own finances (52%) are getting worse. Only 40% believe that things will be any better five years from now, and that number is down to 35% among business owners who recently found out that Obama thinks that they didn’t build their own businesses.
The last two times that the economy dominated the election like it does today was in 1992 and 1980, which weren’t good years for incumbents.
Job Approval: read more »