Both Candidates Score Low on Fixing the Economy

By Jay Zimmer

With five months to go, both major presidential candidates head into the election playing sour notes on an important subject.  Neither has captured the voters’ imaginations with workable solutions to the flagging economy.  That’s especially true of the all-important nonaligned and uncommitted ballot-casters who will make all the difference in November.

In fact, an ABC News/Washington Post poll shows only 38 percent of independent swing voters have any confidence that the Obama plan will bear fruit.  But there’s a smattering of good news for the beleaguered incumbent.  Those independent voters don’t think any more of Romney’s plan either, with just 35 percent in favor.  Thus, economically, at least, the president and Mitt Romney head into the five-month election cycle in a virtual dead heat.

Obama has made his pitch to voters in uncountable campaign events over the last few weeks.  His argument is based on the assertion that the 2008 recession was worse than anyone anticipated, making his attempts to bandage the green-bleeding wound less effective.  Obama also claims that Romney’s policies are the same as those that started the recession in the first place.

With national unemployment at 8.2 percent, Democrats are crying foul under the weight of Republicans in Congress who are refusing to sign off on White House proposals prior to the November balloting.  That fact helped the Obama approval rating slip to 47 percent in May of an election year where a 50 percent rating or better is considered the minimum for re-election.

The economy is the biggest issue on the minds of most voters, not just the up-for-grabs independents.  High unemployment dries up spending, a constricted job market comes from employers gun-shy about hiring amid dwindling sales, producing a downturn in sales of automobiles and durable goods fueled by ridiculous gas prices. It all means that someone is going to have to pull an economic rabbit out of a hat before November or face an angry electorate.