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May 16, 2012

Gallup: Economic Ratings and Public Satisfaction with Direction of United States Suggest Obama May Be a One-Term Proposition

His numbers resemble those of George H.W. Bush (the first Bush).

Perhaps the broadest indicator of the public's mood comes from Gallup's satisfaction measure, which asks Americans if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with "the way things are going in the United States at this time." The 24% of Americans currently satisfied is most similar to the 20% recorded in May 1992 during George H.W. Bush's first and only term. Bush was also the only sitting president of the last four to lose his re-election bid.

By contrast, satisfaction was above 35% in May of 1996 and 2004, in advance of Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's re-elections. And it was 48% in September 1984, the closest time period Gallup has to May of Ronald Reagan's re-election year.

This is even worse, it seems:

The extent of Americans' concern about the economy -- as evident in their top-of-mind mentions of it as the nation's "most important problem" -- is greater today than for any president seeking re-election since Jimmy Carter in 1980. The current 66% mentioning one or more economic concerns is substantially higher than it was in May 2004 or May 1996, and moderately higher than at the same point in 1992 and 1984. Americans' mentions of the economy did surge in August 1984 to 65% -- comparable to where they are today -- but fell to 51% by September.

That the economy was on the top of people's minds as a concern in May 1984 is, as usual, deceptive, because the U.S. was emerging from a very painful recession, but surging with explosive growth -- the economy reversed itself sharply in a positive direction as 1984 marched on.

So, nearer the election, the economy fell as a top mention to 51%.

It is virtually out of the question that there will be a sudden surge in US economic output in the near-term timeframe. The likelihood of a meltdown seems a lot higher.

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posted by Ace at 01:37 PM

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