By Andrey Ptashnikov
Within the last few days, two events have taken place in the US, which, most likely, will upset President Barack Obama.
One of these events was the publication of the results of a recent poll, which showed that Mr. Obama’s popularity is declining. Only one month ago, the popularity of the current US president was 7% higher than that of his main rival at the coming presidential elections, Republican Mitt Romney. Now, Mr. Obama’s popularity is only 1% higher than that of Mr. Romney.
The largest number of those who are dissatisfied by Barack Obama’s policy can be found among the so-called independent voters. (In the US, the term “independent voter” is applied to one who is not a permanent supporter of this or that party, but votes for this or that particular without any regard to what party this candidate represents. Thus, probably the majority of US voters are “independent voters”.) Compared to the previous poll, Mr. Obama is now supported by 12% less independent voters than he was one month ago.
At present, the majority of Americans believe that Mitt Romney can better cope with the current economic crisis in the US than the current president. True, this majority can hardly be called overwhelming – 52% in favor of Mr. Romney against 48% in favor of Mr. Obama. But only a month ago, it was vise versa – 52% for Obama and 48% for Romney.
However, this is not the only piece of sad news for Barack Obama. Last week, the US Department of Labor reported about an increase, although a small one, in unemployment in the country. Another report, this time of the Congressional Budget Office, spoke of an increase in the US’s state debt.
Probably, the only good news for Mr. Obama is that, according to the results of another poll, about one half of Americans believe that the current president is doing his best to save the country from the economic crisis – or, at least, doesn’t do anything that might aggravate the crisis. However, this piece of news can hardly inspire much hope for Mr. Obama at the background of the sad news.
Recently, Professor John Sides from the George Washington University created a computer model of how events may develop during the coming presidential elections in the US. For his computer forecast, John Sides used the results of several recent polls, official data about the situation in the US economy, and the data of the so-called consumer confidence index. (The consumer confidence index is a way to measure consumers’ optimism concerning the state of the country’s economy. The amount of this optimism can be seen from people’s actions of spending and saving money.)
Of course, President Obama’s aides are now actively trying to tell him what he should do in order to regain his popularity. They believe that in his speeches, Mr. Obama should concentrate more on how he would try to make the US economy flourish again if he is reelected as president.
It is easy to make promises. However, it is much harder to do something real for the country’s economy to flourish. Mr. Obama should find a concrete recipe of how to make it flourish if he really wants to win the elections.