News Analysis: Rash Of Negative Economic News Bodes Ill For Obama Re-Election Bid

A spate of figures including a high jobless rate, reduced consumer confidence and a sluggish first quarter do not look good for U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election chances in November.

On Friday, the U.S. jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, marking what economists call the flimsiest economic recovery since the Second World War. Unemployment has hovered above the 8 percent mark for more than three years now, and there remain millions of people who have been out of work for more than 27 weeks -- the so-called "long term unemployed."

Friday's disappointing jobs report led to lower consumer confidence by some counts -- on Monday Rasmussen's consumer confidence had sagged five points.

And on Thursday, U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product grew a paltry 1.9 percent, missing economists' already weak 2.2-percent initial estimates.

The news does not look good for Obama, who is running neck-in-neck with Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the lead-up to November's presidential election, in which the economy and jobs overwhelmingly top the list of voters' concerns.

"He's not going to get any help from the economy. The big question for him is ... to make sure the economy just doesn't get much worse," said Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at

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published this page in In The News 2012-06-06 11:30:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy