Bloomberg News asked Americans “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” (or in this case, since Barack Obama took office in January 2009) and found that yes, more Americans say they are.
Forty-five percent of those surveyed in a Bloomberg National Poll say they are better off than at the beginning of 2009 compared with 36 percent who say they are worse off. In March, poll respondents split almost evenly on that question after having been decidedly negative since the aftermath of the worst recession in seven decades.
“I’m just tired of the doom and gloom,” says Jim Seeley, 52, a mortgage banker in Traverse City, Michigan, and a poll respondent, in a follow-up interview. “I think it’s looking better. People just need to stay positive.”
The poll, conducted June 15-18, contains more unlikely cheer for the president, with larger numbers of respondents saying their household income is higher than a year ago. While 44 percent say they are treading water, the better off outnumbered the worse off by 28 percent to 22 percent.
So yes, it really is the economy, stupid. And it explains why the President is doing pretty well with voters despite the Village’s best efforts to manufacture a horse race. Things are better than they were in 2009 and American voters understand that. Note that Mitt Romnoid 5000 is attacking by making the argument “Well the recovery would have been even better if…” rather than that Americans are doing worse than they were in 2009.
And yet even that argument is getting roundly thumped for two reasons: One, Romney keeps pushing things that directly got us into this mess: more deregulation, more tax cuts for the wealthy, less accountability of the financial sector. Two, as Krugthulhu and Chris Hayes Now With Charts explain, everything the GOP says we need to do in addition is being done currently in Europe, in particular Ireland, and Ireland is in awful shape.
In a conversation between New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday at the Take Back the American Dream conference in Washington, D.C., they agreed that the right’s economic policies are actually running a “natural experiment” in Ireland, and it’s not working out so well.
“Running this natural experiment on austerity has given us data that allows us to make a very grounded, empirical case about the results of this,” said Twilight of the Elites author Hayes. “And I also think if Europe continues to spiral downward, and you’ve even seen the president’s re-election campaign make that argument, that we don’t want that. And if we can persuasively tell Americans that what they’re doing there is actually what [House Speaker] John Boehner and [House Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell are selling, then that’s what we’ll have as the result.”
The Nobel prize-winning economist responded, “I actually have to say, as best we understand, the Romney prescription is fire lots of public employees and have low tax rates on corporations. Well, you’re describing Ireland, which has 14 percent unemployment and 30 percent youth unemployment.”
Charts! Beard-tentacles of sanity! America is figuring out that Mitt Romney doesn’t have anything new to offer. When you say “Hey, President Obama hasn’t fixed the problem” you have to have a plan that doesn’t consist of doubling down on literally everything that created the problem in the first place under Bush, and Americans are also noticing that while the recovery is pretty much laying there like Tunch on John’s patio, it does get up and move around once in a while as opposed to being completely dead and actively in the process of being made more dead, where it would be under Romney. And while Tunch may not be the most efficient processor of Tunch-type food, you still have to feed the guy, much like our recovery. Everybody loves Tunch, too!
Oh, and PS: Bloomberg now has POTUS up by 13 points(!) as a result.
Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.
The survey shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48 percent see him unfavorably — a 17-percentage point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36 percent who say the president is more out of touch.
Taken together, the results suggest an unsettled political environment for both Obama and Romney five months from the November election, with voters choosing for now to stick with a president they say is flawed rather than backing a challenger they regard as undefined and disconnected.
In short, Etch-A-Sketch is broken, Austerity for the Austerity god! Tax Cuts for the Tax Cut throne! Ireland is the new conservative Romney utopia (behold its rancid squalor) and Tunch greater than sign dead things. Vote Obama!
“I would rather choose to vote for someone else, but there’s no one but Obama,” says John Sunde, a 57-year-old Verizon central office technician from Brentwood, New York, when asked which candidate would get his vote. “He hasn’t fulfilled a lot of his campaign promises, but I would vote for him anyway because Romney would be extremely destructive for this country.”
Hey, we’ll take it. No, it’s not the most compelling argument in the world. Yes, it’s still an entirely valid one.