James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

9 reasons why the Dec. jobs report is bad news for Dems

January 8, 2010

Talk about one last gasp from the horrible year that was 2009. On the political front, the December jobs numbers were terrible news for the White House and congressional Democrats in a midterm election year. Here’s how it plays out:

1. Remember this simple formula: Unemployment drives presidential approval numbers, and presidential approval numbers drive midterm election results.

2. President Barack Obama’s approval numbers are hovering just a tick below 50 percent. Since 1962, the average House midterm loss for the president’s party when his approval is sub-50 percent is 41 seats. The GOP needs 40 to take the House.

3. And make no mistake, the December unemployment numbers were bad both economically and politically. The 85,000 job loss was worse than expected and will be played that way the media. The continuation of double-digit unemployment also resonates with voters. And not a in a good way.

4. Then will come the second-take stories that will notice the shrinking labor force, which dropped by nearly 700,000 from November. Had it stayed stable from last month, the jobless rate would have been 10.4 percent. Had it stayed stable since August, the jobless rate would be 11 percent!

5. But wait, there’s more! The U-6 rate rate which combines the basic jobless rate, discouraged workers, part-timers-who-would-rather-be-full-timers climbed to 17.3 percent. And the average duration of unemployment rose to a record high 29.1 weeks.

6. Also, there is every indication that as the slowly growing economy eventually draws workers back into the labor force, the jobless rate will creep up to new highs. (Big companies remain cautious about hiring, and small biz remains under pressure due to tight capital markets.) The validity of the Obama recovery plan will seriously be cast in doubt.

7. The sickly labor market will also make it that much harder for the White House and Hill Dems to celebrate what is likely to be a brisk upcoming GDP report in the 4-5 percent range. That seems like an abstract number compared to the unemployment rate.

8. Combine a weak labor market – which may appear to be getting worse to voters – with the moribund housing market and rising gas prices, and you have a toxic triple threat that will be poisonous to Democratic incumbents and further drain Obama’s political capital.

9. Also, watch how these numbers play with Senate and House Dems thinking about resigning like Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan.  A big improvement in the jobs numbers might have reassured any worriers that 2010 might not be as tough as some currently think. Now it looks a bit more like the worst fears of Democrats might be realized: losing the House and a half-dozen or more Senate seats.

Comments

William B and NobleKin are so far off it is LAUGHABLE!

Two morons.

Obama is driving our bus off the cliff at a speed that is three times the speed of Bush. Anyone who can’t see that doesn’t understand what is happening. Congrats to those who can see what is coming down the pike. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that Cap and Tax, so called Health Care Reform, and mondo higher taxes and mega spending will sink our already damaged ship.

If you think that our standing in the world is better now, think again. Having Europe’s progressive Liberals happy with our move to shared misery and our enemies and rivals seeing us as much weaker now with our Obama’s apologetic stance is suicide.

These people are truly disgraceful.

Peace

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive
 

I agree with Mark. The people who can still support Obama and his constant lying and legislation that is clearly unconstitituonal are just so pathetic. They have lost their ability to think and see clearly. Their very identities are tied to Obama’s success so they see roses where there is dung and deny the very existence of their own noses. Go ahead and and deny all evidence to the contrary of what you have bought from Obama.

The funniest part of all of thi, if there could be one, is the FACT that the truth of all of this will unfortunately come to light for everyone to see in time. Will the NigBama supporters still blame Bush? Yes they can!

You can stick the change up your asses.

Posted by InfoWars.com | Report as abusive
 

How silly to even consider Obama’s plan as a recovery plan. It is a “plain as the nose on your face” takeover of the nation by destroying it first” plan. Nothing new to Marxists who have done this for decades in nations. First, they destroy and destabilize – they come in and restore order with big government controls on everyone.
That, in your face, America, healthcare plan to save money by aborting seniors is one big clue. The billions of unaccounted dollars he set aside to ACORNize the dead and the illegal to vote, is another. When the world wakes up and realizes that there is no one big enough and moral enough to save us, (and therefore them)the groaning will replace the joy at watching America fail.

Posted by Don L | Report as abusive
 

When your “brisk” GDP growth is fueled by government spending, it’s not good news. Not good news at all. Expect it to be widely touted, however.

Posted by SukieTawdry | Report as abusive
 

Thanks for the post and for sharing the very useful information here, great post.

 

funny how all the lib sheep have to baa in unison about how the republicans are such big meanies

useful idiots…

Posted by model_1066 | Report as abusive
 

I personally believe that corporate conservatives are purposely not hiring or layng off to make the Obama administration look as bad as possible to the American public before the 2010 election. It’s what you call “Disaster Capitalism” and it is manmade.

Posted by Betty | Report as abusive
 

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