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Ominous Numbers for Obama
Barron's ^ | 2/18/2012 | GENE EPSTEIN

Posted on 02/20/2012 8:32:33 AM PST by Beave Meister

Will the economy (stupid) again determine the outcome of a presidential election? Based on two important economic measures that I've examined and their relationship to the presidential races since 1956, Obama supporters have cause to worry.

All but the most recent of those races featured an incumbent, whether it was a sitting president (nine races out of 13) or a vice president seeking to move into the Oval Office (four out of 13). Based on consumer spending and unemployment—the two variables I tracked—Obama probably would have lost had he run for re-election this past November.

The numbers have improved since then, but not enough to tip the odds in the president's favor. (See summary data in the table below.)

For my first variable, I took the percentage increase in real consumer spending in the last six months of the year in which the election was held, compared with the previous year's last six months. That's a more tangible sign of confidence, in my view, than surveys of confidence.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.barrons.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: democrats; drillbabydrill; economy; election; gasoline; gop; jobs; liberals; obama; oil; unemployment

1 posted on 02/20/2012 8:32:44 AM PST by Beave Meister
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To: Beave Meister

Of course the economy matters...that’s why Americans will be fed a steady diet of misinformation touting the great success of our recovery from now til election day. Sadly many of us are stupid enough to believe the lies...even though the awful truth of our economic condition is obvious to anyone with their eyes open! The only thing that will sway some people will be a complete economic collapse.


2 posted on 02/20/2012 8:38:33 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: pgkdan

The media will do their best to paint a rosy picture. And at least half of America will be dumb enough to believe it.


3 posted on 02/20/2012 8:40:49 AM PST by NEPA (Give me liberty, not debt)
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To: pgkdan

It’s not “the economy, stupid”,

it’s the “PERCEPTION of the economy, stupid”.

The MSM touted the worst economy since XYZ when Bush Sr was running for re-election, and the people bought it. They also bought “the best economy ever” in 1996, and also in 2006 & 2008.

The only thing that’s going to bring the truth to light is when the 2X4 smacks someone in the forehead and they see that the MSM is lying to them.


4 posted on 02/20/2012 8:42:55 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks Beave Meister.
Based on consumer spending and unemployment -- the two variables I tracked -- Obama probably would have lost had he run for re-election this past November. The numbers have improved since then, but not enough to tip the odds in the president's favor
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.


5 posted on 02/20/2012 8:44:56 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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To: pgkdan

I have no confidence in the American electorate to cast an informed vote.

I cling to the possibility and concept, but until they actually do it, I won’t believe they are capable of it.

Not after 2008.


6 posted on 02/20/2012 9:22:46 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: pgkdan
The question will be whom do you believe, the Obama spin machine or your own lyin' eyes? The idea that Obama can spin high unemployment, huge deficits and debt, high gas prices, etc. is nonsense. He can't defy the laws of political gravity. 2010 should be a harbinger of what will happen in 2012 in much the same way that 2006 was for 2008.

If the election is a referendum on Obama's policies and our economy, he loses. If it is about his Rep opponent, then we lose.

7 posted on 02/20/2012 9:24:28 AM PST by kabar
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To: rlmorel

You’re right. About 60% of our countrymen are just too dumb to vote.


8 posted on 02/20/2012 9:24:41 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: kabar

I was talking to a democrat customer last week and he was bragging about the unemployment numbers, he knows I’m a conservative and we jab each other from time to time. I asked him if he’d hired anybody because I knew he’d been running very lean for the last 3 years. Of course he hadn’t. I asked him if anyone that he knew who was unemployed had found a job in the last month or two and he just changed the subject. People know what’s going on...they WANT to be fooled. They expect to be lied to. They like having the government assume more and more responsibility for the hard times in their lives. They don’t deserve to live in the United States. They are unworthy of our heritage. Our ancestors would run them out of town!


9 posted on 02/20/2012 9:29:51 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: rlmorel

I am forever amazed how even so-called conservatives have amnesia when it comes to what happened in 2010, one of the most historic elections of our lifetimes. Yet, it is as though those elections never took place or have absolutely no meaning for what will happen in 2012. I credit the Dems and the MSM for downplaying or ignoring them.


10 posted on 02/20/2012 9:31:58 AM PST by kabar
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FR Is Raising Money For New Servers


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11 posted on 02/20/2012 9:41:26 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: Beave Meister

I’m sorry I did a simple Excel regression analysis of VEWB vs. “Win/Lose”, coded 1/0 and there is only a very weak dependence, 0.04% for each point of VEWB, but the significance is only 0.49, meaning that the value of regression is no much more likely than if we had picked results (0/1) at random. VEWB is not a significant predictor.

To remove sensitivity to saturation caused by 1/0 coding I repeated the analysis using popular vote and here the results were even less encouraging. A one point change in VEWB is associated with about a 1% reduction in popular vote, but the significance is only 0.2, which means that 4 out of five times we would expect as least as strong a correlation purely by chance.

VEWB is not a useful predictor, imho.


12 posted on 02/20/2012 9:46:07 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (Ceterum autem censeo, Obama delenda est.)
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To: Beave Meister

The media may not be able to hide what is bad with happy reports if the gas prices continue to rise.Unemployment will surely go higher if gas hits $4+ not to mention grocery prices and everything else that is shipped.THat stuff is hard to hide when you see it in your grocery budget and at the gas pump.


13 posted on 02/20/2012 10:13:01 AM PST by chris_bdba
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To: pgkdan
The only thing that will sway some people will be a complete economic collapse.

The economy will collapse right after 0bama steals the election. And that has been his plan all along. An economic collapse will result in chaos and violence and the sheeple will beg for protection. 0bama will declare martial law, suspend the Constitution and be appointed El-Presidente-For-Life.

14 posted on 02/20/2012 10:21:38 AM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Beave Meister
Based on consumer spending and unemployment—the two variables I tracked—Obama probably would have lost had he run for re-election this past November. The numbers have improved since...

An we should believe these "improved" numbers, especially since the revelation that when the benefits run out, those unemployed just disappear, why?

15 posted on 02/20/2012 11:36:18 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: kabar

Kabar, I readily admit that I’m discouraged, and that probably (no, certainly) colors my outlook on the current political situation more bleakly than it probably deserves. I can safely say that the mainstream media really hasn’t had a hand in my pessimism, since I don’t read newspapers or watch television. As a matter of fact, I pretty much use Free Republic as my jumping off point for news.

I simply can’t accept watching the media, because I understand they can’t help themselves with their ingrained biases. It is in their very nature, and that isn’t going to change.

It turns out that Free Republic is by far the best option for me. I will say this, I didn’t see a huge amount of jubilation or optimism… what I saw (in my opinion) was a guarded gratification in the outcome coupled with a “let’s wait and see” attitude. I did think that was the proper response, given what we had seen up to that point. I do recognize that credit should be given where it is due, and that is to a degree the gumming-up of government, in effect slowing everything down.

Where I am having difficulty is in believing 2 things: First, that this will carry over into the main election, and Second, that even if Republicans do manage to regain the White House, I’m not sure that any candidate on the Republican side will supply the correct medicine.

Since putting some energy into getting Scott Brown elected (both time and money) then seeing him do the things that he did, it brought me to the hard realization that being a little bit liberal is very much like being a little bit pregnant. Just like the progression of a pregnancy ends up (most of the time) in the birth of a child, the progression of liberalism is very much a one-way ratchet, in that every surrender to liberalism is ground lost, rarely to be regained.

In other words, I’ve come to the conclusion that you reach the same degree of liberalism by being a bit liberal as you do by being fully liberal.

It just takes you longer to get there.

Anyway, I do agree completely with your assessment of the historic nature of the election, something that was completely muted, as far as I could tell.


16 posted on 02/20/2012 6:47:41 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: kabar

And I add to that, I still, to this day have not gotten over the shock that I experienced after the election of Barack Obama.

It still befuddles me, even though I understand the dynamic completely, that our country would have elected a person like that to the Presidency. Here was a man whose political mentor was a known terrorist. A man who sat in a so-called “church” and listened to virulently racial sermons for 20 years, and claimed he hadn’t heard it. A man whose Bible was not a Christian Bible, but a book by an evil man named Saul Alinsky who found it necessary to include a tribute to Satan in the Bible that he wrote.

As I write this, I still have trouble believing it. This guy I described above was elected President of the United States.


17 posted on 02/20/2012 6:57:58 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: rlmorel

Agreed. I have no faith in the average idiot anymore.


18 posted on 02/20/2012 7:01:38 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: GlockThe Vote

Arrggh. You have no idea how difficult it is for me to come to grips with that conclusion. I’m actually still trying like hell to rationalize it away somehow. It’s extraordinarily painful to me.

I’ve always had a lot of pride (founded partly to a degree of Romanticism that’s part of me) in this country and the way it’s been able over the years to tackle some great things from an individual level to an international level.

I always thought there was a good reason that Americans have made (and still make) such formidable soldiers. It’s undeniable that a great part of that is due to our fantastic historical wealth, but I do think there’s an equally large part that has to do with our outlook and attitude about everything from cutting grass to fixing jet turbine engines. Regardless of what many people say, America is the most class-free country in history. For most Americans (at least historically speaking) there was no job that was too menial to do, and hard work could take you places. I think it is that relative absence of class that defines how we do many things.

The point of all this is, in the election of Barack Obama I saw something in our national character that registered for the first-time in the pit of my stomach. It was a nasty, greasy insight into something of our national character that I wished I hadn’t seen. The election was an expression of that insight.


19 posted on 02/20/2012 7:23:34 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: rlmorel

I volunteered for McCain on my own dime Solely due to palin. I spent a lot of money traveling to help out because i knew thugbama would be a death knell to this nation. you have no idea the sick feeling I had in my stomach the day after the election, all of which panned out, but way worse.


20 posted on 02/20/2012 7:29:19 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: rlmorel
Well, one possible way of looking at things is to assume that a great many Americans are still just the same as they ever were -- but that the political system is hopelessly broken and corrupt. Perhaps the votes aren't really counted. Perhaps the politicians are not governing by the will of the people at all. Perhaps there are not two political parties, and perhaps we are all just being duped.

The voters may be trying to elect better leaders, but the political establishment just won't allow that outcome. Does that make you feel better?

21 posted on 02/20/2012 7:29:19 PM PST by ClearCase_guy ("And the public gets what the public wants" -- The Jam)
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To: ClearCase_guy

LOL..now WHERE did I put those cyanide capsules, darn it!


22 posted on 02/20/2012 7:40:13 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: GlockThe Vote

Well, I voted for McCain too, I just didn’t see any other reasonable way around it. And like you, a good part of that was due to Sarah Palin.

I actually have a connection to McCain, however small. He was, for several months back in 1975 into 1976, my Commanding Officer. He was the commanding officer of VA-174 which was a training squadron. Of course, at the time I knew who he was and what he was all about even if not many others did not at the time. Being a military brat and living overseas, I knew a lot of those POWs by name, we wore the metal bracelets and all those kinds of things.

I admit that it took me some time to come to grips with the negative aspects of McCain with respect to his personal and political attitudes. It wasn’t that I couldn’t intellectually see them, it was just that emotionally I couldn’t bring it to myself to attach them to him. It was a kid thing, but we idolized all of those guys.

Funny, hadn’t really thought of that aspect much for a long time, but we used to do goofy things that kids used to do playing Army and such, and I can remember one time being “captured” by a friend on the other side, and I remember saying something to the effect of “Okay, I’ll be Commander Denton, and you have to be the North Vietnamese guard…”


23 posted on 02/20/2012 7:56:56 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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