- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2012

Do Democrats care about the dismal economy that is now in the fourth year of Barack Obama’s jobless presidency?

Despite mounting evidence the sluggish economy is slowing further, unemployment is climbing, and the Democrats’ core voting blocs are suffering the most under Mr. Obama’s economic policies, he still holds a slight overall lead over likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the latest Gallup poll.

Even though Mr. Obama’s approval-disapproval numbers are poor (45 percent-47 percent), Gallup shows him with a 46 percent to 44 percent edge over the former governor.

Recent polling in three critical battleground states - Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio - gives Mr. Obama relatively healthy leads in each of them.

Gallup surveys show Mr. Obama has maintained strong support among the Democrats’ most loyal constituencies - African-Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, and in the party overall.

Nearly one-third of Obama voters say the chief reason they are voting for him is because he has done a good job overall. Another 10 percent, believe it or not, say they will vote for him because of the economy and his economic recovery plan.

Another 40 percent say they will support him because of what he has done for job creation and employment, are part of “the working/middle class,” generally agree with his views, or just because they always vote Democratic.

Only 1 percent of Obama voters in the Gallup poll say the president is “doing a poor job” and “want [him] out of office.”

Much of the Democratic Party is made up of “working class,” low- to middle-income Americans and, of course, minorities. These groups have arguably suffered most from Mr. Obama’s policies, which have resulted in mediocre job creation, falling incomes and the weakest recovery since the Great Depression.

The overall jobless rate among African-Americans, who overwhelmingly support Mr. Obama’s re-election, was nearly 14 percent last month. For black men it was 15 percent, up from 14.6 percent, and for black women it was 12.3 percent, up from 11.7 percent.

Unemployment for black teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 was a future-threatening 36.5 percent.

The job market for Hispanic men was also bleak and showed little or no signs of improvement: 11.1 percent, up from 9.8 percent in April.

The overall youth job market is a national catastrophe that goes unnoticed in the White House or in Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches. Fewer than 3 in 10 work-eligible teenagers hold jobs. The rest can’t find one or are working only part time.

Job creation has plunged to nearly negligible levels in recent months, from subpar levels in the past three years. A mediocre 69,000 jobs were created last month when we have added hundreds of thousands of jobs month after month in previous recoveries.

Unemployment is particularly severe among middle-age Americans between the ages of 45 and 64. The jobless level among this group “remains near its highest rate in 70 years,” the Wall Street Journal reported last weekend.

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