Obama 2012, the dollar and the stink of instability
President Obama’s approval/disapproval ratings are now an upside-down 45 percent/50 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics average. If those numbers were to hold until Election Day 2012, Obama would be a decided underdog for a second term, at least that is what statistical modeling tells:
Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have been varying in recent months: between about 45 and about 50 percent. If Mr. Obama’s approval rating is at the top of that range, 50 percent, on Nov. 6, 2012 — about where it is now — the model figures that his chances of winning re-election will be greater than 80 percent. But if his approval rating is at the bottom of the range instead, at 45 percent, his chances for a second term will be only about one in three, and he’ll have to hope that the Republican nominee is a weak one.
And here are Obama numbers in chart form:
Almost as worrisome for the White House is this chart looking at the direction of the country:
I think what’s at play here is more than just gas prices, though that’s a big part of it. You also have the sliding dollar, S&P’s debt warning, high unemployment, flat or falling incomes, a depressed housing sector. Obama may have won in 2008 even without the financial crisis, but it was that meltdown that allowed him to crush John McCain. And since then, he keeps repeating how his policies have pulled America out of the ditch, like in a speech last year in New York:
“After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. “No! You can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.”
But the recovery feels both weak and unsustainable, like nothing has been fixed since 2008. Do Americans feel like the nation is on the verge of another 25-year boom or like it’s on the precipice? Right along with the slide in Obama’s approval ratings and this latest downturn in public confidence has been the decline in the dollar. Just look at the US Dollar Index: