Presidential Race Maps Writing on the Wall

How Satisfied Are We With Government?

Posted Jul 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new survey by Gallup, "Democrats are more likely than Republicans to be satisfied with the work the government is doing in each of 19 different areas. The parties' satisfaction levels diverge most on healthcare and foreign affairs, and diverge least on poverty, national parks, and transportation." Here is Gallup's chart:

Satisfaction With Work Federal Government Is Doing in Different Areas, by Political Party, June 2013

What Worries Americans Most About The Future?

Posted Jul 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM by Maurice Berger

What worries Americans the most about the future? A New survey by Gallup reports that "economic issues dominate Americans' concerns about the nation's future. Americans say the economy (17%) is their greatest worry or concern for the future of the United States, followed by the federal debt (11%). 5% or more also mention jobs and international wars and conflicts." Here is Gallup's chart:

Americans' Top Worry for the Future

Which States Have Highest Rate Of Employment?

Posted Feb 13, 2013 at 9:06 AM by Maurice Berger

Which states have the highest--and lowest--rate of employment? According to an analysis by Gallup, "North Dakota had the highest Payroll to Population (P2P) employment rate in the country in 2012 -- 53.6%. Maryland ranked second, while seven other states with shared borders -- Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah -- landed in the top 10. Mississippi and South Carolina had the lowest P2P rates of all the states (38.5% and 38.7%, respectively), about 15 percentage points lower than the highest-ranking state. Florida and West Virginia also had P2P rates below 40%." Here are Gallup's charts:

Top 10 States, Payroll to Population, 2012Bottom 10 States, Payroll to Population, 2012

Contradictory Polls In Michigan GOP Primary

Posted Dec 16, 2011 at 2:01 AM by Maurice Berger

Two polls just out. Two different readings of the relatively early (February 28) GOP presidential primary race in Michigan. A survey from MIRS reports that Romney leads with a double-digit lead in the state where he was raised, 48% to 33%. (Michele Bachmann comes in at 11% and Rick Perry at 7%). Another poll from Strategic National shows Newt Gingrich edging Mitt Romney in Michigan, where Romney spent his childhood, 31% to 29%. Stay tuned.

Economy and Jobs, Not Deficit, Are Biggest Problem For Most Americans

Posted Jul 26, 2011 at 12:26 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, most "Americans name the economy and unemployment/jobs as the most important problems facing the nation, as they have all year, despite the dominant focus in Washington on the federal debt ceiling. The deficit comes in third as the top problem, followed by dissatisfaction with government in general, healthcare, and concerns about wars." Here is Gallup's chart:  What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today? July 2011

Election 2012: Unemployment Up in Swing States

Posted Jun 24, 2011 at 2:00 AM by Maurice Berger

In yet another problem for the incumbent president, The Fix examines the most recent state-by-state unemployment numbers and reports "that in every one of the 14 swing states heading into 2012 -- Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- the unemployment rate has risen since October 2008."

Gallup: Unemployment at 9.2%

Posted May 18, 2011 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

As measured by Gallup, unemployment "is at 9.2% in mid-May -- down slightly from 9.4% at the end of April and a year ago. The broader underemployment rate is 19.1% -- down slightly from last month and on par with May 2010."

Gallup: Unemployment Up in January To 9.8%

Posted Feb 04, 2011 at 12:44 AM by Maurice Berger

According to Gallup, "Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 9.8% at the end of January, up from 9.6% at the end of December. Broader U.S. underemployment was 18.9% in January, essentially the same as the 19.0% in December." For the full story click here.

Gallup: Job Creation Flat For Fourth Consecutive Month

Posted Feb 03, 2011 at 1:34 AM by Maurice Berger

Gallup's Job Creation Index "shows employees' reports of hiring activity at their places of work in January were unchanged, at +10, for the fourth consecutive month. Job creation has been essentially flat after improving steadily over the first half of 2010 and stabilizing at +9 in August and September. Twenty-nine percent of employees nationwide tell Gallup their companies are hiring and 19% say they are letting workers go -- precisely the same as in December, and essentially the same as in November and October."

Americans More Optimistic About Economy

Posted Jan 05, 2011 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

According to a new Gallup survey, "Twice as many Americans think the U.S. economy will be better rather than worse in 2011.Americans living in the East and Midwest are a little more optimistic about the economic outlook for 2011 than those living in the South and West. Americans making $75,000 or more in annual income are slightly more optimistic than other Americans, and Democrats are considerably more optimistic than their independent and Republican counterparts."

Here is Gallup's chart:


Will The Unemployment Rate Doom Obama's Reelection?

Posted Dec 07, 2010 at 4:07 AM by Maurice Berger

This analysis from Jeff Madrick via Frank Rich via, in The New York Times, should make the Democrats worry, re: the President's reelection chances in 2012: "As the economics commentator Jeff Madrick wrote in The Huffington Post, the unemployment rate has been above 7 percent only four times in a presidential election year since World War II — and in three of the four the incumbent lost (Ford, Carter, the first Bush). Reagan did win in 1984 with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, but the rate was falling rapidly (from a high of 10.8 two years earlier) . . . But as Madrick adds, there has never been a sitting president over that period who has had to run with an unemployment rate as high as 8 percent — which is precisely where the Fed’s most recent forecasts predict the rate could be mired when Obama faces the voters again in 2012."

Poll: Americans Continue To Blame Former President Bush For Nation's Ills

Posted Jul 20, 2010 at 2:10 AM by Maurice Berger

In what may be a note of good news for Democrats facing anti-incumbent sentiment in this year's election, a Bloomberg National Poll reports that Americans blame former President George W. Bush more than President Obama for the budget deficit, unemployment and illegal immigration. Bush doesn't do much better when the question turns for foreign policy: 60% say Bush is primarily responsible for the current situation in Afghanistan, for example. Only 10% name Obama.

Jobs Report: 290K Jobs Added, But Unemployment at 9.9%

Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:06 AM by Maurice Berger

One political marker to watch for in this year's midterm election in the unemployment rate and job growth. The more quickly the nation recovers from the devastating recession of 2008-2009, the better the chances of the party in power . . . in this case the Democrats. With April's job report in, things could be looking up for the Democrats: employers added 290,000 more jobs, the largest one month gain since March 2006. Still, troubling sings persist: the unemployment rate actually increased to 9.9%, a clear indicator that more Americans are looking for jobs.

290K Job Gain In April

Posted May 07, 2010 at 2:18 AM by Maurice Berger

The New York Times reports that "the American economy added an unexpectedly strong 290,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent, the government said Friday. Analysts had expected a gain of about 190,000 in the month." The pace of job production--as well as the general health of the economy--could have a major impact on fall's election, so this may be a very important story, indeed. 

Gallup: Americans Say Unemployment Top U.S. Problem

Posted Mar 16, 2010 at 1:08 AM by Maurice Berger

According a new Gallup survey, "Americans mention unemployment or jobs (31%) more than any other issue when asked to name the most important problem facing the country today. Americans predict the federal budget deficit will be the top problem the U.S. will face 25 years from now, just ahead of the economy and the environment." As for the present top problems, "31% of Americans mention jobs or unemployment, significantly more than say the economy in general (24%), healthcare (20%), or dissatisfaction with government (10%)."

Was Health Care A Miscalulation?

Posted Jan 21, 2010 at 1:09 AM by Maurice Berger

Was the Obama administration's emphasis on health care over jobs "a colossal miscalculation" of public sentiment and needs. Charlie Cook, in this interesting and compelling analysis, tied the drop in support for the administration to its year-long health care campaign, undertaken during a period when jobs were withering away and the unemployment rates was rising to crisis proportions: "Honorable and intelligent people can disagree over the substance and details of what President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to do on health care reform and climate change. But nearly a year after Obama's inauguration, judging by where the Democrats stand today, it's clear that they have made a colossal miscalculation. The latest unemployment and housing numbers underscore the folly of their decision to pay so much attention to health care and climate change instead of focusing on the economy "like a laser beam," as President Clinton pledged to do during his 1992 campaign. Although no one can fairly accuse Obama and his party's leaders of ignoring the economy, they certainly haven't focused on it like a laser beam." For the entire analysis, click here.

Americans Support Extending Unemployment Benefits

Posted Nov 11, 2009 at 1:09 AM by Maurice Berger

In another indication that the high unemployment rate is weighing heavily on Americans, Rasmussen reports that most Americans favor extending unemployment benefits for an additional 20 weeks, with 59% favoring the extension of those benefits and 31% opposing it.

Unemployment Hits 28.9% in Detroit

Posted Sep 03, 2009 at 1:05 AM by Maurice Berger

With an unemployment rate now hovering around 30%--28.9% to be exact--the city of Detroit serves as a national symbol of the continued effects of the Great Recession and a lingering problem for the Obama administration and Congress. As ABC News reports: "The unemployment rate in the city of Detroit rose to 28.9 percent in July, the highest rate of unemployment since Michigan started keeping modern numbers." Will unemployment rates that remain stagnant or even continue to climb put an damper on the public's perceptions about economic recovery? Stay tuned. 

Steep Unemployment Increase: More Trouble For McCain?

Posted Oct 03, 2008 at 2:50 AM by Maurice Berger

The US Department of Labor reports that employers cut 159,000 jobs in September, a two-fold increase from August or July. This is the biggest decline since 2003. Back then, jobs were still being lost in the wake of the 2001 recession. Today's labor report may add fuel to the idea that the Wall Street Crisis is only the tip of a bigger economic iceberg (since September job loses began well before the meltdown of two weeks ago). Will the continuing bad economic news further upset already anxious voters, many of whom blame the problem on the outgoing Republican administration (and the party in general)? If so, will these numbers make it difficult for McCain to change the subject?