The Sunday News shows focused today on what was described as the "dismal," "terrible," "horrible," "disappointing" and probably other extremely negative terms national monthly employment report for May which came out this week. That report indicated that the economy had only created 69,000 thousand jobs, and that unemployment claims had ticked up a tenth of a percentage point. This dismal, et al, report purportedly sent the stock markets into a tizzy and all of the gains of the year were lost in a Friday sell-off.
This now was, according to the pundits, changing the entire presidential election race. It was putting Obama on the defensive and Romney on the offensive, or so they said. It was also putting the focus of the race back on the economy. And while there may be some truth to all of that, although overemphasized in importance by the pundits, one of the things that seemed a bit over the top to me, which I had never heard before, was that this report was going to hit people right when they are making their decisions on who to support. Some of the pundits said, and the others didn't really dispute it that much, that 6 months out from the election is when people start formulating their opinions, and thus, this one month report could have a big impact on the election.
Sorry, but I don't buy that one. And I also think that the pundits are using old models that assume a much more black or white reaction to news events and politicians from general citizens when today's citizen has so much more instantaneous information available to them and understands nuances, trends, and history better than general citizens of the past, if only because there is so much easier access to the information.
If the economy slips back into recession, money supplies tighten significantly, and gas shoot up, the economy could hurt Obama's chances for re-election. But people remember that he didn't cause the economic meltdown, and he has done a lot of work to try and shore things up, and he has been more successful than failed, as the economy has not gone completely belly up, and it is true that Obama has gotten just about zero help on the economy from the republicans. Obama gets credit for that, and to think that he doesn't is a miscalculation. I think a lot of Washington pundits are making that miscalculation.