- Posted May 5, 2012 by
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Election 2012: Your stories
Jobs Report May Be Presidential Race Weathervane
Over the next 6 months until the presidential election on November 8, voters and political junkies may be able to know which way the winds are blowing as Presient Barack Obama attempts to stave off a challenge from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by paying attention to the monthly jobs report.
No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has ever won re-election with an unemployment rate of over 8%. The most recent polls continue to indicate that the majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
The economy and jobs looms as the primary issue in the 2012 race. Mental attitude towards this dual issue by voters may be key to which way the ballot will go. If the jobs report shows a very slow growth or even stalls out, it could seal Obama's fate. If the jobs report shows ever increasing positions being created, the public may change its mind on the direction of the nation and hand the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue back to the President.
The economy isn't cooperating with President Barack Obama's re-election schedule.
For the third year in a row, an early spurt of growth has started to fade in the spring.
Look back to 1984, when President Ronald Reagan was seeking a second term. As now, the nation was emerging from deep recession. But the job growth for April 1984 was a solid 363,000, the unemployment rate 7.7 percent, down from a peak of 10.8 percent. Recovery momentum helped propel Reagan to a landslide over Democrat Walter Mondale.
But now, it doesn't look like the economy will turn the corner in time to be much help to Obama in what is shaping up as a tight race.
Hands down, it's the most important monthly economic report in the race for the White House.
And April's numbers from the Labor Department didn't provide President Obama a lot to brag about.
"After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have now created more than 4.2 million new jobs over the last 26 months, more than 1 million jobs in the six months alone. So that's the good news," Obama said Friday at an event in northern Virginia.
But the president went on to say, "There are still a lot of folks out of work, which means we gotta do more. If we're going to recover all the jobs lost during the recession, and if we're going to build a secure economy that strengthens the middle class, then we're going to have to do more."
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was quick to react to the jobs numbers.
"It's a terrible and very disappointing report this morning. Clearly the American people are wondering why this recovery isn't happening faster, what's taking years and years for the recovery to occur. And we seem to be slowing down, not speeding up. This is not progress," Mitt Romney said Friday in an interview on Fox News just minutes after the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the Labor Department report.
"A lot of American people are having difficult times, and this is not good news this morning," added the former Massachusetts governor, who argued the reason the rate dropped was because more people are leaving the workforce.
A CNN/ORC International poll conducted last month indicated that Americans were split on which candidate could best jumpstart the economy, with 44% saying Obama would be more likely to get the economy moving and 42% saying that Romney would do a better job to stimulate the economy.
But the race for the White House is a battle for states and their electoral votes. And in two of the biggest and arguably most important battleground states, new surveys from Quinnipiac University indicate that when it comes to the economy, Romney has a slight advantage over the president.
Keep your eyes on the monthly unemployment reports between now and November. The numbers will be extremely telling.
From the Cornfield, American voters face a choice in November.
Americans must decide what direction they want the nation to walk over the next 4 years.
The outcome of that vote may very well be what happens with each monthly jobs report.