The Key to Obama’s Re-election

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8/13/2012 Update:
Since this article was written last April the Q1 GDP has been revised DOWNWARD from 2.2% to 2.0%. The 2012 second quarter Q2 GDP was announced as only 1.5% annual growth.

The downward revision and the Q2 GDP both spell trouble for Obama.
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The most important election news of the year came out on Friday. It was barely mentioned in the U.S. press.

Boil President Obama’s chances for re-election down into one number and that number is real GDP growth.

Real GDP growth for the first three months of 2012 was released on Friday. It was 2.2%. That part was on the news. What it means wasn’t.

Real GDP growth is the barometer of a nation’s economic health. Everything that affects its citizen’s fiscal well being is reflected in that one innocent looking number.

How Does GDP Growth Affect President Obama’s Electability?

Friday’s latest Quarter-to-Quarter U.S. Department of Commerce GDP growth chart tells all. This chart should have been shown on the national news. It wasn’t.

The simple chart shows real GDP growth by 3-month quarterly increments since near the start of the Great Recession of 2008.

The 2012 election is all about jobs and the economy. If the economy improves then the President will be re-elected. If the economy does not improve or gets worse then the President will not be re-elected.

The Hidden Secrets of the Chart

The chart is easy to understand. By traditional definition, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

Any bars below the zero percent line show a shrinking economy. Any bars above the zero percent line show a growing economy.

For example, for four consecutive quarters from 2008-Q3 through 2009-Q2 the bars are below the zero percent line. That marks the deepest depths of the Great Recession.

In just four sterile numbers it shows:

  • The mortgage housing collapse
  • The stock market crash
  • The loss of about 8 million total jobs from December 2006 to December 2009
  • The largest bankruptcy – Lehman Brothers – in U.S. history
  • The near total collapse of the entire U.S. economy

Q4 2008 was the worst hour in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression.

The chart shows two partial recoveries since the dark days of 2008. The first peaked at 3.9% growth at the end of 2009. That is healthy GDP growth, but the jobs never returned in that first “jobless recovery”.

As a result the economy dipped again to a dismal 0.4% in Q1 2011 before the economy finally started showing weak, but broad positive signs of real life again.

The 2nd recovery apparently peaked at 3.0% late last year and is now on the decline once again.

That spells trouble for President Obama.

Conclusions

Today it looks like the 2nd economic recovery was weaker and was for a far shorter duration than the recovery in late 2009. Current economic indicators give little reason for optimism going forward.

There are still two more quarters of real GDP growth that will come out between now and election day.

Should those quarterly numbers drop further and joblessness remain high then its curtains for the Obama presidency.

Should those numbers turn upwards and employment increase then its party time in the White House come November.

It’s as simple as that.

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About azleader

Learning to see life more clearly... one image at a time!

Posted on Apr 28, 2012, in 2012 Elections, Barack Obama, culture, economics, GDP, Life, news, Opinion, Politics, Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I think that your assessment of Obama’s re-election chances is about right. Although electorally he seems to have an advantage, even if Romney ‘flips’ NV, NC, VA, CO, NM, IN (all of which Obama won in ’08) Obama could still win by winning Ohio OR Florida; Romney would need to win all of the above plus Ohio AND Florida. While the economy may make it more difficult for Obama to win, I am fairly certain that he will win re-election.

  2. One bad GDP number in 3-months and Obama’s perceived electoral advantage today is long gone with the wind.

  3. GDP is a good number to look at. But we are in a jobs depression, that spells doom for Obama. The economy was better under Carter, and Reagan kicked his butt. Same will happen here. To wind Florida or Ohio, Obama will need to ditch Biden, he adds nothing to the ticket. Put Hilary on as VP, and it gets interesting.

    • One of the reasons I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 is because of Joe Biden.

      The only meaningful political decision Barack Obama ever made in his life prior to the 2008 election was picking a running mate. The candidate of “change” who said Washington DC was broken and he was gonna fix it picked the ultimate Washington insider to be his Vice President. That’s illogical.

      Not only that, but Joe Biden is the Dan Quayle of Democrats!

  4. I don’t know who you are. I noticed you read and were interested enough in this article I wrote months ago to click on its links today and dig deeper into what it says.

    Thank you… you did not leave a comment but you remind me why I go to all the effort to write these things. It is nice to know they get used by those who seek truth.

    Btw… I hope you noticed that the BEA today lists the 2012Q1 GDP lower than it did in April. The economy is getting worse. 😦

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