By Carole on Sep 28, 2012
This week the headlines trumpeted that US consumer confidence jumped to a seven-month high. After falling five times in the past nine months and with virtually all economic indicators showing the continued failure of the Obama administration's economic policies, we are suddenly to believe that the US economy is looking up and therefore the president should be re-elected. But only if you believe the hype and don't look too closely at the reason for that jump.
While it's true that both the Consumer Confidence Board's Index and Gallup's Economic Confidence Index showed significant increases in September, it's also true that the improvement is due to survey responses from Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents.
So the big news behind the blaring headlines and the good news for President Obama's re-election campaign is that those who were going to vote for him anyway think the US economy is improving despite all evidence to the contrary. Stop the presses!
According to Gallup, "The Economic Confidence Index among Democrats had been ambling along at around +10 from August through early September. Then, in the week ending Sept. 9, spanning the Democratic National Convention, it surged 18 points to +24 and has since averaged +20 or better. A similar pattern has occurred among Democratic leaners, with a 22-point surge in confidence during convention week."
Wells Fargo Senior Economist Mark Vitner offers a more specific reason for the surge of confidence among Democrats crediting former President Bill Clinton's DNC speech in which he "rekindled memories of better economic times" and assured voters that the US economy was on the right track.
Of course that's what political speeches are supposed to do but now that the high of the one-sided conventions have ebbed and the reality of the upcoming debates and another jobs report are coming fast, that increase in confidence could be exposed for the con job it was.
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