Washington Extra – Economy hits Obama’s poll numbers
It’s still “the economy, stupid.”
Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign slogan, famously pinned up on the wall of their Little Rock headquarters by James Carville, never seemed more appropriate than it does today.
Our first Reuters/IPSOS national poll dramatically illustrates how the parlous state of the economy is undermining confidence in President Barack Obama and his Democratic colleagues ahead of November’s mid-term elections.
Americans clearly identified the economy and jobs as the main problems facing the country today. Even more overwhelmingly, they said that Obama was not focusing on the issue enough.
Faith in Obama’s economic policies is also slipping sharply. People were more negative about the president’s handling of the economy than over any other issue. Satisfaction was also dropping more quickly on the issue than on any other question.
In another sign of trouble ahead for the president and his party, Republicans were significantly more energized and likely to vote in the mid-term elections than Democrats.
Of course none of this means Obama will lose in 2012. Presidents, including both Clinton and George W. Bush, have bounced back from mid-term bloody noses to win second spells in office. But quite a few Democrats will feel as though this year’s focus on healthcare and Wall Street reform will not do them any favors come November.
Here are our top stories from today:
Economy erodes election hope for Democrats
Americans by a large majority believe President Barack Obama has not focused enough on job creation, as economic fears threaten Democrats ahead of Nov. 2 elections, a Reuters-Ipsos poll found.
For more of this story by Steve Holland, click here.
Enthusiasm gap could be trouble for Democrats
Republicans still enjoy a big advantage in enthusiasm about November’s congressional elections, with their party members far more engaged and more likely to vote, in a trend that could spell big trouble for Democrats. President Barack Obama drew millions of first-time voters to the polls and pumped up Democratic turnout in the 2008 election, but those novice voters appear far more likely to sit things out in 2010 with Obama not on the ballot and his approval ratings drifting downward.
For the full story by John Whitesides, read here.
Obama struggles to hit right note on economy
In the face of stubbornly high unemployment and grim poll numbers, the White House is struggling to find a workable strategy for selling President Barack Obama’s economic successes to voters.
For Ross Colvin’s full analysis, click here.
Wall St mounts campaign backlash against Democrats
Wall Street executives who endured two years of blame for the financial crisis and now face costly industry reforms are turning against Democrats by shifting campaign contributions to Republicans. “If you’re going to haul me out of the bar and beat me up in the street, don’t expect me to buy you a drink,” said a source involved in political spending decisions at one Wall Street firm.
For more of David Morgan’s story, click here.
Congress set to tackle oil spill bills
Senate Democrats unveiled a slimmed-down energy bill aimed at reforming offshore drilling and promoting alternative-fuel vehicles. The bill would require oil companies to cover all the costs of oil spills by removing the $75 million cap on liability relating to economic losses.
For more of this story by Richard Cowan, click here.
Wall St loathing for Warren lifts regulator bid
Elizabeth Warren, clad in cardigans and pearls, has become Wall Street’s public enemy No. 1, but that very vitriol that could earn her a post heading the government’s new consumer watchdog agency. “I get disgusted every time I hear her speak. It’s like she’s sitting in some ivory tower, not understanding the ramifications of anything she says,” said Anton Schutz, president of Mendon Capital Advisors. “Any person you put in that role really ought to have some industry experience.”
For the full story by Maria Aspan and Kim Dixon, read here.
SEC head warns against financial reform re-debate
The top U.S. securities regulator said regulatory rule-writing should not be used to re-debate the financial reforms Congress just passed, but pledged an open process.
For the full story by Kim Dixon and Karey Wutkowski, click here.
Republicans block campaign disclosure bill
In another blow to President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats, Republicans blocked a bill to require unprecedented disclosure of who pays for political campaign advertising.
For more of this story by Thomas Ferraro, read here.
And some stories from elsewhere in the world…
Jobs, professions influence cause of death
What a person does for a living could play in role in how they die, according to new research. After analyzing 1.6 million deaths over a decade, British scientists found that painters, bricklayers and roofers had about twice the average rate of death from drug abuse, while merchant seamen, cooks and bar staff had a higher risk of alcohol-related deaths.
For more of this story, click here.
Dolce & Gabbana dress Chelsea players in soccer push
Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have entered a 3-year deal with English soccer club Chelsea to dress their players, muscling their way in the fashion-hungry soccer market. For the full story, click here.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama casts shadow as he walks to Oval Office)