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On Friday’s economic numbers & the stagnant Obama economy

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:54 pm - October 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Economy,Media Bias

On Friday, many conservative bloggers whether the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were playing games with the unemployment number.   I do understand their cause for concern, nicely summarized by Rob at Joshuapundit who reported that before Friday’s numbers came out, “a gain of 118,000 would have resulted in an 8.1% rate but“, in the BLS numbers on Friday, “a gain of 114,000 resulted in a 7.8% rate? How do fewer jobs actually result in a lower unemployment rate?”

Ed Morrissey, the 2010 CPAC blogger of the year, looked deeper into these numbers and urged caution:

It doesn’t mean a conspiracy is in place; it does strongly suggest that this month’s sample of 60,000 households threw an outlier, especially when compared with the establishment survey and other economic data.  If so, it will likely correct itself in the next report.  That’s not “trutherism” or denial, but straightforward data analysis.

In another post, Morrissey also contrasts the New York Times’s coverage of the September 2012 jobs report to that in September 2004 and found that when a Republican was running for reelection, ” a jobless rate of 5.4% ‘cast doubt’ on the economy, and suddenly [this year] 7.8% is a sign of “a steadier recovery.”  In yet another post, he offers charts and data providing a real picture of the Obama economy.

This is the one chart that really shows just how much the Obama economic policies have failed:

Here, the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis updated “the January 2009 jobs forecast by Obama administration economists Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer [, taking] the super-optimistic chart they produced and add[ing] the actual, gloomy employment results.”  I added in the little circle showing where the Obama team anticipated unemployment would be with and without their recovery plan.

So, after spending $800 billion on that plan, unemployment is still about two points higher than those economists predicted it would be today had Congress not passed the plan.

Bear in mind that the the 7.8% top-line figure

. . . reflects the percentage of the total workforce who are unemployed and are actively looking for work. This figure does not include unemployed members of the workforce who are not actively looking for work; nor does it factor in workers with part-time jobs who are seeking full-time employment. (more…)

Does Battleground Poll show Romney ahead?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:14 pm - October 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

The top line number of the new new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Tracking Poll shows President Obama’s lead dwindling down to one point over Mitt Romney, but it’s the internals that call the Democrat’s lead into question.  Over at Breitbart, John Nolte found that Romney’s lead among independents was twice that Obama enjoyed in the 2008 election.

Back then, he won independents by 8 points.  This poll shows Romney leading “indies by a whopping 16 points, 51-35.”  Ed Morrissey found that “Other internals look bad in the poll“:

Obama’s firm re-elect number on Q6 is only 46% with just four weeks to go before the election — and again, mostly from before the debate.  That’s a low number for an incumbent at this stage of the race, as undecideds usually break hard for the challenger.

That’s even more true when one takes into consideration the sample breakdown in this poll.  It has a D/R/I of 38/30/32, for a D+8.  That’s more Democratic than 2008′s D+7, which took place in a cycle with much more Democratic enthusiasm than this poll demonstrates.  If Obama trails in a D+8 poll by 6 among the extremely likely voters with four weeks to go, he’s in deep trouble — and his debate performance certainly won’t boost him.

If we just adjusted to a model based on the 2008 turnout, that would erase Obama’s insignificant advantage.  And when we adjust to a more likely D+2 to D +4 turnout, we see Romney moving into the lead.

No wonder Democrats are panicking.

What’s your plan for a second term, Mr. President?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:03 am - October 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

So focused have our our friends in the legacy media been on making this election a referendum on the challenger, that they have all but forgotten to ask the incumbent President of the United States about his plans for a second term.  So, that challenger has to do their work for them.  Linking this video from the Romney campaign, Jennifer Rubin reminds us that the Republican nominee is asking for Obama’s economic plan:

Barack Obama, Rubin reminds us, “doesn’t have much of a second-term agenda.”  Similarly, in a piece on Obama’s crumbling campaign for the New York Daily News, Jim Geraghty observes that Obama’s “vision for the next four years . . . has been largely missing from his effort this year.

All but one of the Obama ads I have seen — either linked on blogs or broadcast on TV — has been an attack on Mitt Romney.  And that one exception was the Obama ad  featuring Bill Clinton.  Do hope that, in the second debate, Mitt Romney has a chance to turn the tables on Barack obama and ask the Democrat just what he plans to do in his second term.

That question, “What is your plan?” may resonate quite well with people who like the idea of Barack Obama, but are not too pleased with his big-government policies.  They may fear he has more such initiatives in store for his second term.

RELATED:  Linda Morrison, the “woman who pressed Paul Ryan for specifics on his tax plan at a town-hall event in Clinton, Iowa, earlier this week says she is ‘outraged’ that the Obama campaign misrepresented her words“: (more…)

Media trying to make election a referendum on Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 am - October 8, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election,Media Bias

Now this election” wrote Margaret Carlson before the debate in Denver, “is a referendum not on the incumbent, but on the challenger.” The National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru agrees, saying after the debate that “Obama’s strategy, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to make the race a referendum on the challenger.

It does seem like stalwarts of the legacy media like Miss Carlson are doing their best to help Obama turn his reelection campaign into a referendum on his opponent. “The bias” this year, writes Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard . . .

. . . has been so massive, palpable, and unprecedented that the scales have begun to fall from the eyes of a few stalwarts of the media establishment. Obama, Mark Halperin of Time noted last week, “has been covered as a candidate, rather than as an incumbent whose record needs to be scrutinized.” As you might suspect, this coincides neatly with the president’s reelection strategy.

The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman has suggested the media have all but given the president a free ride. “Obama was such a cool and uplifting story to so many in the media in 2008 that they have essentially ceded ground to him that they have yet to reclaim,” Fineman wrote. The president has campaigned “without having to seriously and substantively defend his first-term promises or shortcomings, and without having to say much, if anything, about what, if anything, he might do substantially differently if he is fortunate enough to win again.”

Read the whole thing.  Via Instapundit.

Has an incumbent president ever run for reelection where the legacy media downplay his administration’s record while exaggerating his opponent’s “gaffes”?