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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid