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A Chart Worth 1000 Words

Topics: Barack Obama , Economy , Geoff Garin , Unemployment

Andrew Sullivan calls this the chart of the day. I'll second that:


2009-10-02garin_chart.jpg

It was posted a few days ago by David Leonhardt of the New York Times and is comes from a survey of registered voters conducted by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin for the Economic Policy Institute and it captures in a single image the profound challenge now facing Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Voters appear to be aware that the federal government is spending at unprecedented levels, but they believe the benefits are accruing mostly to large banks, Wall Street and manufacturing firms (which I'd wager really means General Motors), but not to average people. Not to "me."

Meanwhile, the Garin study shows that 85% believe the country is still in recession, nearly all see unemployment as a very big (59%) or somewhat big (24%) problem, and 58% say that someone they know, someone in their household or family or a close friend, has been laid off or has lost their job.

The survey also includes tests of Democratic-friendly messages on the stimulus and the economy, and those interested in Garin's strategic advice will want to review his presentation. But Democrats should be sobered by these results. Given yesterday's news of unemployment hitting 9.8% (with 17% unemployed, underemployed or no longer looking) expect the next twitch of the Obama job approval trend line to be down.

Related: Gary Langer has more on "what an ugly time it is for the American workforce," including the reminder that the ABC/Post poll found 47% of Americans reporting that a job loss or pay cut in their household in the last year. His conclusion:

[E]conomists suggest the downturn's bottomed out and the recession may be over. By the classic metrics, OK. it can take months, even years, for rising GDP to make itself felt at the kitchen table. For many Americans, as today's data show, economic realities remain dire - with potential political, policy and public health impacts yet to unfold.

 

Comments
jme:

While I also think the data depicted here are interesting and important, can I just say I never expected to see a 3-d bar graph (!!!) with a rather gaudy color scheme being praised on pollster.com.

Blech.

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moderate2008:

I wonder what happened to market trickle down economiccs?

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