The polling has been looking nothing but good recently for President Barack Obama, but The Fix contends that it doesn’t necessarily mean all signs are pointing to a reelection win.
On the one hand, Obama’s job approval numbers are as high as they have been in 18 months, according to the latest Gallup tracking poll. In the three-day rolling survey, 53 percent approved of the job Obama was doing, while 39 percent disapproved. And Obama’s latest numbers don’t appear to be a flash in the pan either; Obama’s job approval number has been at 50 percent or higher since early last month in Gallup data.
On the other hand, the latest economic indicators suggest a softening of the recovery. The jobs report released this morning showed the unemployment rate had risen more than expected, to 9.1 percent — a number that comes on top of a 280-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial average on Wednesday and weak retail sales figures for May.
It’s this piece of economic weakness that GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is attempting to make the focus of his campaign — the economy, and nothing but the economy (especially not health care). Romney has hit the latest unemployment numbers as “proof” that Obama’s policies are failing, and continues to claim that the president has made the economy worse, even after being debunked on this claim by the Associated Press.
Still, voters are emotional beasts. Ask them enough times if they are better now than they were a few years ago, and they may start responding to it.