Despite a hefty haul reported this morning by Barack Obama's re-election effort, there are numerous metrics that show his re-election chances slipping by the day. Perhaps the most worrisome for the Barry O backers is the monthly Consumer Confidence Index, which dropped 3.2 points in June to 58.5.
As an article in Politico points out, no incumbent party has ever won re-election to the Oval Office with the index below 100. It's possible that unicorns and fairies will swoop down at Obama's request and employ everyone, but not likely. Though it's happened before. Per Politico:
Only Ronald Reagan managed to close a similarly sized gap in consumer confidence. He cruised to reelection in 1984 after the index swung from 59 in January 1983 to 104 in January 1984.
But it would appear seemingly impossible for Obama to duplicate the feat.
Employment increased by 4.1 percent during Reagan’s surge, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To match that, today’s economy would have to add 5.34 million jobs — almost 450,000 a month. Only a meager 18,000 jobs were created last month.
Considering the economy added a measly 18,000 jobs last month and unemployment ticked up to 9.2%, it is highly unlikely for such a broad-based turnaround to take effect in time to save Obama. That, more than anything, is likely to kill his chances. After all, as the Democrat National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has said, Democrats and Obama "own the economy."
The lack of a serious deal on the debt ceiling, job creation, or pretty much any forward momentum or leadership by Obama isn't filling Independents and swing voters with much confidence. And it's having an effect.
Ed Gillespie, the former head of the RNC, is now running the conservative polling outfit Resurgent Republic, which is focusing its efforts on understanding Independents who supported Barack Obama in 2008. In an interview with Newsmax recently, Gillespie said his research has found that Independents think Obama is "in over his head." According to Gillespie, Independents aren't ready to blame Obama for the bad economy, but they haven't been impressed by his actions either.
The longer Obama is in office and the economy doesn't turn around, the more these voters will lay the blame at his feet. Obama won't be able to blame Republicans, as Democrats control both the White House and Senate. Nor will he be able to blame Republican Presidential candidates, as they don't have the power to set policy.
At the end of the day, this election is looking likely to turn less on the donations received by candidates (especially post-Citizens United) and more on basic facts of life like gas prices, job creation and consumer confidence. On that accord, Obama's re-election is not looking likely.