The title of a recently released Yahoo! article is “Unemployment rates FALL in most SWING states. Why that MAY NOT help Obama” (Web-site/URL: http://news.yahoo.com/unemployment-rates-fall-most-swing-states-why-may-205614832.html). “falling unemployment rates MAY NOT help Obama? WHY?
According to Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, “Obviously, if you are an INCUMBENT president, you will welcome ANY good news and THIS IS good news, just two weeks before the election. But, and this is a BIG but, THE VAST MAJORITY of voters HAVE ALREADY DECIDED, so a small tick-down in their state’s unemployment rate IS NOT going to change their minds”. This is Sabato’s EXPECTATION (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI) and we can generally trust these because Sabato’s accuracy in predicting election results using his “Crystal Ball” model is STUNNING (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Sabato). Also notice “incumbent”. So Sabato expects the “incumbent president” to still be on THE DEFENSIVE (Web-site/URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI), continuing a trend from the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections, more specifically the HOUSE elections, where Democrats lost a whopping 63 seats after former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman CHRIS VAN HOLLEN predicted that Democrats would lose only 28.
According to Keith Hall, “a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and a former official at the BLS (Bureau of Labor & Statistics)”, “The question for the swing states is whether the improvement over the year is keeping up with the POPULATION GROWTH“. “The US population is growing at about 0.8 percent per year. “ANY job growth over 1 percent represents progress. Many states STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO before they are FULLY recovered” obviously.
“Mr. Sabato perceives the Obama campaign as having MISSED OPPORTUNITIES to trumpet the improvement. One reason it hasn’t may be because rates in some states are still so high. For example, in Nevada, at least 1 in 10 people is still out of work. “You CAN’T really say, ‘Gee, things are getting better‘. They are just NOT as HORRIBLE as they were”, but again, THIS ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH. “The Obama campaign DOES NOT want to bring up the subject because they reason the more [that] people think about the economy, the more they will vote for ROMNEY” which again IS NOT good for OBAMA.
“In Florida, where the unemployment rate has DROPPED 1.7 percentage points over the year, the improvement HAS NOT helped Obama in the polls. That is partly because a lot of people are working only part time, or have jobs that pay less money than before the recession, says Susan MacManus, a professor at the University of South Florida. Moreover, the state is still bedeviled by a high rate of HOME FORECLOSURES, she notes”. “You have to remember that Florida for years was always leading other states out of the recession, but since the last downturn,a it has been LAGGING BEHIND. There is an IMPATIENCE factor here”. MANY people are “impatient” now, “impatient” with THE INCUMBENT president, continuing a trend from the 2010 mid-term Congressional elections, specifically in the HOUSE.
Sabato went on: “I live in Virginia, where the unemployment rate is under 6 percent and the Obama campaign IS NOT using it”.WHY? “It’s ALMOST (?) malpractice”. THIS IS “malpractice”. In fact, it’s just STUPID.
“Another key state is North Carolina, where unemployment is still a HIGH 9.6 percent”. According to a recent analysis by IHS Global Insight, “North Carolina’s recovery CONTINUES TO BE BUMPY”. “The good news is that the state’s TWO largest sectors, government and education/health services, have both been generating FAIRLY consistent job growth and the manufacturing sector APPEARS TO BE HANGING ON to its recovery”. REALLY?
“On Nov. 2 (2012), the BLS will release the October (2012) jobs numbers, the last look at the national unemployment picture before the election”. According to Sabato, “That CAN (?) have an impact“. “That” WILL DEFINITELY “have an impact”.
“But during an ELECTION year, he adds, A LOT of people BECOME SUSPICIOUS of economic numbers. Last month (September, 2012), Republican commentators HOWLED (?) when the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent”. WHY? Because it means that PRESIDENT OBAMA ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING.
Finally, Sabato finished off: “A LOT (?) of people thought THE BOOKS WERE COOKED. I am NOT one of those. But MOST (?) people DON’T think (that) the jobless rate is (ONLY?) 7.8 percent”.
To conclude, let’s go back to the title: ““Unemployment rates FALL in most SWING states“. Why will this most likely end up HURTING the President? It has something to do with the fundamental definition of unemployment: people who are out of work AND are ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR work. Unemployment in many states is low or falling because MANY PEOPLE HAVE BECOME DISCOURAGED AND HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR JOB SEARCH.