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LAMBRO: Obama’s statistical slump
Unemployment decline can’t hide numbers that portend voter payback
Question of the Day
As Mr. Obama moves into full campaign mode in an effort to re-energize dispirited Democrats, he’s going to have a hard time convincing minority voters who form the base of his party that things are moving in the right direction.
Unemployment among black voters is at 15.5 percent, and among Hispanics it’s 11.4 percent. There was “little or no change” in the unemployment rate in either group.
It is said by presidential and political historians that no president since the New Deal has won re-election with the unemployment rate above 8 percent. Unless the number of jobs mushrooms next year, the unemployment rate is likely to remain between 8.5 percent and 9 percent throughout 2012 and possibly climb higher if the legions of discouraged workers decide to begin actively looking for jobs again.
If you regularly tune in to the nightly news shows, the statistic you rarely hear is Mr. Obama’s failing job-approval score.
Just for the record, Mr. Obama’s 43 percent average job-approval rating last month “ranks as one of the lowest for an elected president in November of his third year in office,” according to the Gallup Poll.
“Only Jimmy Carter had a lower rating, at 40 percent. But Carter’s rating surged in late November 1979 because of a rally in support after the onset of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and he averaged above 50 percent in December,” Gallup said.
“All recently elected presidents were at or above 50 percent in December of their third year in office,” the polling service noted ominously. If he does not pull out of that 43 percent rut, “he will be the first elected president in Gallup records to be below 50 percent in December in his third year in office.”
Mark Twain’s statistics are piling up fast, the voters are becoming increasingly angry, and Mr. Obama is running out of excuses.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.
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