President Obama is No Ronald Reagan (DUH!)

Since Truman, five presidents have won re-election and two have lost.   The average Misery Index for the winners was 8.89 the October prior to the November election.

In contrast, the two losers (Presidents Carter and Bush 41), suffered from an average Index of 15.39.  Ouch.

Where is President Obama?  As of last month, the Index was pegged at 12.76.   Key fact, President Herbert Walker Bush LOST with the Index at 10.5.  By this stat, President Obama is a lot closer to the losers than the winners.

This is not to say President Obama CAN’T win re-election riding an Index over 10.5 – President Reagan did it with 11.66.

How did President Reagan do it?   Nothing short of mind-blowing job growth: the unemployment rate, the hardest-hitting part of the Index’s one-two punch, dropped a whopping 3.4{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} between 1982’s devastating mid-term elections and the ‘84 presidential elections in which Reagan won 49 out of 50 states.

America was getting better, a lot better, and Americans knew it. The University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Index in October 1984 was 96.3 (over 40 points higher than it is today).

So, where is President Obama?  Stalled: the unemployment rate has dropped a meager .6{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} since last year’s mid-terms.   It deserves repeating: the unemployment rate has dropped only point-six-percent since the shellacking (the President’s words) the Democrats took in ‘10.

To match Reagan’s rocking employment curve, the unemployment rate would have to plummet a point-and-half over the next 15 months and the Misery Index would have to drop about three points.

But, America isn’t getting better, and Americans know it.  The Consumer Confidence Index just bottomed out at 54.9.  The worst since, you guessed it, President Carter lost re-election in 1980.

Public Opinion Strategies