News Report, Michael H. Cottman
If opinion polls are accurate, an increasing number of voters are jumping ship and abandoning President Barack Obama.
The reason: Skyrocketing unemployment – 9.6 nationally, 16.3 for black Americans. It’s a national crisis – and Americans are anxious and angry.
According to a new survey by Politico and George Washington University, “a significant majority of voters are considering voting against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.”
The poll says there is “deep skepticism” about Obama’s ability to create jobs and fix an unstable economy. Obama didn’t cause the economic collapse, but he did vow to generate job growth so Americans can get back to work. It’s a tall order in a pressure cooker – and a near-impossible task.
“Only 38 percent said Obama deserves to be reelected, even though a majority of voters hold a favorable view of him on a personal level,” the poll said. “Forty-four percent said they will vote to oust him, and 13 percent said they will consider voting for someone else.”
What’s perhaps more troubling for the White House, according to the Politico poll, is that a growing number of voters say they trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than Obama.
This means Obama must convince a nervous electorate that his administration can fix the economy and return millions of unemployed Americans to the workforce.
It’s probably too late for Obama to persuade some voters to his way of thinking by the critical November mid-term elections, but the president still has time to make his case before he runs for re-election in 2012.
In November, if Republicans take over the House, Obama says Republicans’ plan to slash taxes and cut spending and called GOP policies “an echo of a disastrous decade we can’t afford to relive.”
“The Republicans who want to take over Congress offered their own ideas the other day. Many were the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn’t surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy,” Obama said.
On Monday, Obama signed a $42 billion bill to aid small businesses Monday – a measure that’s expected to create 500,000 by offering about $12 billion in tax breaks.
Whether this latest initiative by Obama to stimulate jobs is enough to change the minds of those who are not supporting the president in 2012 is anyone’s guess.
“This is important because small businesses produce most of the new jobs in this country. They are the anchors of our Main Streets. They are part of the promise of America – the idea that if you’ve got a dream and you’re willing to work hard, you can succeed,” Obama said during the bill signing Monday.
The president has said repeatedly that he understands the public is frustrated with the slow pace of the recovery and continuing high unemployment, which was 9.6 percent last month.
“Government can’t guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers to success, like the lack of affordable credit,” Obama said. “Government can’t replace – can’t create jobs to replace the millions that we lost in the recession, but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people through steps like tax breaks.”
Monday’s new economic initiative comes as Obama must also re-assemble his economic team. Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, quit in August, and this month, Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, said he would leave at the end of the year to return to Harvard University.
So, while Obama works on crafting a new economic team, he must also talk up his economic policy initiatives at every opportunity to sway public opinion and prevent frustrated voters from deserting his presidency – and his ideals.
If, of course, the opinion polls are correct.