Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently talked with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and five Pennsylvania congressmen. To a man, they all said the same thing: with the economy do lousy, the public wants them to focus on jobs, good jobs. Instead the White House (and the Democratic congress, when that party controlled both houses) focused on anything but, and that’s now reflected in the president’s lousy poll numbers and poor consumer confidence. Zito argues that the current bad news about GDP growth and manufacturing orders and their reflection in polls may mark the moment that shows how poorly the President understands the people he supposedly leads:
In June, the nation’s unemployment rate rose for a third straight month, as employers added only 18,000 workers and corporate earnings languished.
Anyone buying basic groceries can feel the pinch of consumer prices rising to offset higher commodity costs, so buying little beyond what you absolutely need has become the norm.
President Barack Obama’s support has eroded among the very independent voters who helped him sweep into office. That drop-off is based on his inability to lead on numerous issues, but most importantly on the economy.
The latest Pew Research poll confirms just that: Only 8 percent of those polled say the national economy is in excellent or good shape, and only 38 percent rate their personal finances positively.
Such attitudes place Obama in an even worse position than President George H.W. Bush was in during his failed 1991-92 re-election campaign, because today’s unemployment rate is much higher and overall satisfaction with the state of the nation is much lower than it was back then.
Polls are no substitute for understanding basic human judgment. Yet they can mark that point in time when an administration fell off the cliff of understanding its own people.
To quote a wise man: “It’s the economy, stupid!”