Last week, before Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on the ticket, I rejected the conventional wisdom espoused by the psephologists and argued that the Republican nominee would win in a landslide. When he put Ryan on the ticket, I suggested that he would immeasurably strengthen the Republicans in Congress and win a mandate.
For understandable reasons, you of good sense and little faith expressed doubts. To cheer yourself up, let me urge you to read Paul Mirengoff's dissection of the most recent Gallup poll. Here's a teaser:
A narrow plurality approved of the job Obama has done in foreign affairs (supposedly, somehow, his area of strength) and education. In the other three areas, Obama was under water and, indeed, under 40 percent.
The economy, jobs, and (probably to a lesser extent) the budget surely are the areas of greatest importance to voters in this election. Here is the breakdown for them:
Economy: 36 percent approve; 60 percent disapprove
Creating jobs: 37 percent approve; 58 percent disapprove
The budget: 30 percent approve; 64 percent disapprove
Can Obama be re-elected with these kinds of numbers? You wouldn’t think so. Here are the approval numbers regarding the economy for presidents who have been reelected in modern times:
George W. Bush’s rating in August 2004 (46%)
Bill Clinton’s in August 1996 (54%)
Ronald Reagan’s in July 1984 (50%)
Obama trails his closest competitor, George W. Bush, by 10 points.
Be of good cheer!