News / USA

Economic Volatility Driving Close US Election

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign stop at Production Products in St. Louis, Missouri, June 7, 2012.Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign stop at Production Products in St. Louis, Missouri, June 7, 2012.
x
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign stop at Production Products in St. Louis, Missouri, June 7, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign stop at Production Products in St. Louis, Missouri, June 7, 2012.
Less than five months before Election Day, experts say weakness in the U.S. economy appears to be driving a close presidential race this year.

Republicans have a new sense of momentum for their expected presidential nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

"Look into this race," said Romney.  "This is not just a race about politics or people.  It is a race about the course of the country.  And I will keep America strong and I will honor in all ways the commitment of this country to be one nation, under God."

A recent uptick in the U.S. jobless rate to 8.2 percent and volatility in the stock market have raised new doubts about the stability of the domestic economy, which political analysts say will be far and away the key factor in the November matchup between Romney and President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Republicans also seem much more enthusiastic about this year's election than four years ago when Obama trounced his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain.

John Fortier is with the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

"Clearly the difference from 2008 is that the Republicans will be more energized," said Fortier.  "They were not energized in 2008.  Democrats were.  I think we are at least likely to see both sides be re-energized in 2012."

Fortier says the improved Republican turnout effort was on display in the recent recall vote in Wisconsin won by the incumbent Republican Governor, Scott Walker.

Democrats took heart from exit polls in Wisconsin that showed voters still favor the president for re-election.  But many Obama supporters are growing concerned that the weakness of the U.S. economy will be a drag on his hopes in November.

President Obama is trying to keep the focus on the Republicans, blaming them for blocking his jobs bill in Congress.

"There is going to be plenty of time to debate our respective plans for the future," said Obama.  "That is a debate I'm eager to have.  But right now people in this town should be focused on doing everything we can to keep our recovery going and keeping our country strong."

Analyst John Fortier says the president has plenty to worry about if the recent disappointing economic indicators become a trend.

"So I think the average voter is going to say, do you think things are headed in the right direction?  Maybe they are not perfect.  Maybe unemployment is still high.  But are they getting a little bit better?  That would be good for the president.  If people are still quite not optimistic about the economy, that is going to be good for Mitt Romney," Fortier noted.

Gallup pollster Frank Newport agrees that the economy will decide the election and is among those predicting a very close vote in November.

"Two out of the last three elections have been quite close," said Newport.  "In 2000 it was so close it had to go to the Supreme Court.  Now in 2008 Obama won by about seven [points] in the national vote so that was a little stronger election, but that was a pretty negative reaction to [former President] George W. Bush at that point.  So I think the natural tendency for elections in America today is to be close."

The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll suggests the weakening economy is taking a toll on the president's re-election chances.

It shows the president narrowly leading Romney by a margin of 44 to 41 percent.  But it also finds a dip in the president's job approval rating from 51 to 47 percent, with 48 percent now disapproving of his performance in office.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs