Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Where’s the landslide? Why 2012 isn’t 1980
American Enterprise ^ | 08/29/2012 | James Pethokoukis

Posted on 08/29/2012 7:00:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Image credit: JPMorgan

Image credit: JPMorgan

Republican National Convention – Tampa, Florida

Just a few more bits of data among many, but today’s consumer confidence numbers were dreadful.

JPMorgan:

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index fell 4.8 points to 60.6 in August. Since peaking at 71.6 in February, the index has dropped 11.0 points to its weakest reading since November 2011. The weakness in the Conference Board index in August contrasted with the modest improvement already reported in the preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for the month, but the deterioration in consumer attitudes looks reasonable considering the recent increases in jobless claims and gasoline prices.

IHS Global Insight:

Consumer confidence is digging deeper into recession territory, making it perfectly clear that there is a high degree of pessimism on job prospects and the overall economic outlook. Adding fuel to the fire is raising pump prices.

All is not well on the consumer front and retailers are feeling the pain. Americans are spending less money and time shopping. Consumer spending trends have had noticeable fits and starts that are not indicative of a robust, healthy, and confident American consumer.

This is a bad report. Last month, consumer confidence increased for the first time in five months. Currently, consumer confidence is at a ten month low. Last summer, consumer confidence plunged by 27% due to the debt ceiling debacle. There had been considerable gains in confidence in the latter part of last year and the beginning of this year. However, consumer confidence fell by only 6% this summer – so, the good news in this report, is that the summer blues have not been as bruising.

Looking ahead, consumer confidence is likely to remain in recession territory, unless there is a dramatic shift in payrolls and wages.

Of course, why wouldn’t consumer confidence be in the dumps given high-but-stagnant unemployment and below-trend GDP growth? Some 70% of Americans think the country headed in the wrong direction.

Given all that, many right-of-center folks wonder why President Obama isn’t headed for a defeat as bad as Jimmy Carter’s 10 percentage point beating by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Yet the polls show Obama and Mitt Romney in a tight race. At a forum earlier today, pollsters Kellyanne Conway and Whit Ayers offered four reasons why 2012 isn’t looking like 1980:

1. Jimmy Carter won a close 50.1%-48% race to become president. Obama won by a near landslide, 52.9%-45.7%. Ayers says the bad economy has pretty much wiped out that 7-point lead, but given such a huge head start, Obama went into his reelection campaign with a much deeper reservoir of good will than Carter has..

2. Obama has a much more favorable demographic situation than Carter did. Ayers said that if Romney were running with an electorate that looked like Reagan’s in 1980, he would be winning by a landslide. In 1980, 88% of voters where white; today 74%.

3. Conway agreed that a variety of economic woes makes it look like “a perfect storm” in Romney’s favor. But the long duration of economic weakness and the uncertainty that has come along with it may have made voters shy about adding to the uncertainty by electing a new president. This is why it is critical for Romney to present a clear, confident, competent, and comforting vision of what a Romney presidency would be like.

4. Conway says the Long Recession might also have made voters so pessimistic that they no longer believe the economy can be righted in just four years. Thus, they believe, Obama deserves more time to right the ship.

I would also add that a) there was an outright recession in 1980 — not just a lousy recovery; b) the unemployment rate surged from 6.3% in January 1980 to 7.5% in October; and c) the Misery Index (unemployment + inflation) was just over 20 in 1980 vs. just under 10 today.

It is hard for Obama to argue the U.S. economy has turned a corner. For Carter, it was impossible.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: carter; elections; landslide; obama

1 posted on 08/29/2012 7:00:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Yet the polls show Obama and Mitt Romney in a tight race.

Crappolla!


2 posted on 08/29/2012 7:07:16 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

True story is that today nearly half of the population is on the Federal dole. When Reagan ran those numbers were much, much smaller.


3 posted on 08/29/2012 7:07:24 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

What that idiot half of America believes is that the other half is going to carry their sorry asses. Big surprise coming!


4 posted on 08/29/2012 7:10:33 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

The reason we are screwed in the long run, regardless of who wins: The thought in the average voter’s mind: Which candidate will help me, personally?

The electorate is the problem and will be right up to the revolution.


5 posted on 08/29/2012 7:11:43 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Why 2012 isn’t 1980

Lets see...

Carter/0bama (check)

Reagan/Romney.....

ROTFLMAO!!!!! (gasp) ROTFLMAO!!!! (gasp) ROTFLMAO!!!!

6 posted on 08/29/2012 7:12:49 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Buck, you have stumbled on the truth.


7 posted on 08/29/2012 7:13:00 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I guess it would be rude of me to suggest that Mr. Pethokoukis actually do some research before spouting off about the polls.

Maybe look at the fact that polls in AUGUST/SEPTEMBER of 1980 between Reagan and Carter were TIED! just like Polls between Romney and Obama.

it probably would also be counter to his narrative to point out that mid OCTOBER 1980 polls actually showed Carter with a 47-39 LEAD


8 posted on 08/29/2012 7:16:12 AM PDT by commish (Freedom tastes sweetest to those who have fought to preserve it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Reagan preached supply side econonics. Where the private sector created value greater than the private sector (etc) captured value. He gave my early introduction into Austrian economics. Unfortunately, Reagan was not able to end central planning, only curb it a bit. I paid attention because he did understand human nature AND political animals.
Althroughout my small business life, I have found that free choice economics works better than the constant drivel of central planning. The latter requires force, which your neighbor will either endorse or reject this next election. There will be consequences for the choice.


9 posted on 08/29/2012 7:20:45 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Conway says the Long Recession might also have made voters so pessimistic that they no longer believe the economy can be righted in just four years. Thus, they believe, Obama deserves more time to right the ship.

Plus the fact so many (100M)are on government aid, the increasing unemployment situation isn't touching nearly so many people.

10 posted on 08/29/2012 7:25:00 AM PDT by ScottinVA (If Obama is reelected, America will deserve every mockery that follows.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

A combination of much more advanced campaign techniques and demographics won’t let this race (or most races) be a total landslide. Last cycle, Obama had EVERYTHING possible going for him. An unpopular opposition party, a deflated opposition, a recession, a further financial collapse and TARP, a 100% compliant media, an incompetent opponent, and a good campaign operation including unprecedented money advantage and great ground game. He won on 53% of the vote. Both sides have mastered the game and so poll-tested and carefully crafted their positions, that both sides are guaranteed to be 45-47% each cycle. Barring a candidate completely imploding in a fall campaign, we just are not going to see such one-sided victories. We can see decisive victories...last time Obama had one, this time I suspect Romney will, but most will be relatively close.


11 posted on 08/29/2012 7:25:53 AM PDT by ilgipper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Two simple reasons:

  1. The country is a lot dumber in 2012 than we were in 1980.
  2. Ronald Reagan was a lot better candidate than Mitt Romney.

That's all.
12 posted on 08/29/2012 7:45:29 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf

A W-2 or form 1099 should be a requirement for voting.


13 posted on 08/29/2012 7:58:25 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf
The thought in the average voter’s mind: Which candidate will help me, personally?

BINGO!
14 posted on 08/29/2012 8:03:11 AM PDT by Sopater (...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 COR 3:17b)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: The_Media_never_lie
A W-2 or form 1099 should be a requirement for voting.

I'm tempted to go further and add a property tax bill.

15 posted on 08/29/2012 8:04:40 AM PDT by Marathoner (GTFO: January 21, 2013)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf

With the rapidly changing demographics in obama’s America, looks as though the traditionalist revolutionaries will be outnumbered. That’s his strategy, and based on what I see around me, it’s working. It’s time for a reasoned, national debate on what the USA shall “look like” in the future.


16 posted on 08/29/2012 8:19:46 AM PDT by Salvey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Salvey

“It’s time for a reasoned, national debate on what the USA shall “look like” in the future.”

Well, shall the USA look like “So You Think You Got Talent” or “Dancing with the Stars?”

Considering the myopic ignorance of the American electorate, that’s the debate you’re going to get.


17 posted on 08/29/2012 8:34:31 AM PDT by henkster (We're the slaves of the phony leaders...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

I grew up in a working class neighborhood where the vast majority had too much pride to take a “free” school lunch, regardless of their circumstances. That is the world where Reagan beat Carter. Today by contrast there is a virtual stampede to sign up for food stamps. The culture is quickly devolving.


18 posted on 08/29/2012 9:12:43 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: cuban leaf

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


19 posted on 08/29/2012 9:12:58 AM PDT by MachIV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

I agree. This isn’t the same country it was in 1980......it’s much worse.


20 posted on 08/29/2012 9:19:08 AM PDT by MachIV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog

Today’s Lesson in Summary The SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)/Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed The Animals.” They say that this is because the animals may grow dependent on handouts and not learn to take care of themselves. Thus endeth today’s lesson.


21 posted on 08/29/2012 10:04:41 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson