Swing State Pres

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Econometer Turns Blue, Good for the Democrats, Amidst a Crazy World (May 9, 2013)

It was a momentous month in the world, a month of disasters, both real and threatened.  President Obama was able to demonstrate strength as “First Healer” in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as patience and restraint with respect to North Korea nuclear threats and Syrian use of chemical weapons.  It was also a month for good economic data, all of which might have translated into significantly higher Obama approval numbers.  They were indeed very modestly higher, but the failure of the Senate to pass any gun control measures hurt him and his Democratic congressional colleagues as well, and thus the outcomes were a bit muted.  (See my April Month in Review for my update on all the major political events of the month at:  http://www.borntorunthenumbers.com/2013/05/april-month-in-review-startling.html)

The “Econometer” captures what was generally a good set of economic data for the past month.  The unemployment report not only was fairly robust in the private sector in April, but there were substantial upward job growth revisions to the February and March reports as well.  The unemployment rate thus fell to 7.5%.  Consumer confidence rose, and the GDP for the first quarter came in at 2.5%, well above the anemic 0.5% of the fourth quarter.  The Dow has soared to record highs, and even the price of gas has dropped to below Election Day levels.  In short, each measure movied in a positive direction this month.  None of this points to a dramatic recovery, but it also refutes the notion that we were having a third “spring slump” in succession.

Remember, the Econometer measures how the economy has moved since Election Day on the theory that positive news should benefit the Democrats come 2014.

Econometer
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
Econometer
0.0

-11.9
0.6
-1.6
13.5
  Unemployment Rate
7.9

7.9
7.7
7.6
7.5
  Consumer Confidence
73.1

57.3
68.0
59.7
68.1
  Price of Gas
3.71

3.45
3.79
3.75
3.62
  Dow Jones
  13,330

  13,728
  14,054
  14,520
  14,747
  GDP
3.1

0.4
0.4
0.4
2.5

Obama’s approval rating nudged over 50% again, and is now a net +3.0 points, a bit better than Election Day.  This represents his highest level since February, although in general Obama’s approval rating has settled into the 50% range after the election.

Obama Approval Rating
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Approve
49.6

51.7
50.1
49.0
50.8
  Disapprove
47.4

44.2
45.0
46.7
47.8
  Net
2.2

7.5
5.0
2.3
3.0

The Democrats’ margin over the Republicans has narrowed to +2.4 points in the “generic ballot” for Congress.  You can see that the real change was that the Democrats lost three points to “don’t know”; the Republicans remained in the 38% range.  I think this could reflect some frustration with the gun law, which was widely supported by 60%+ of the electorate.  Perhaps they expected widespread Republican opposition but were surprised that several Democrats broke ranks.  It is interesting to note that the “don’t know” portion of the electorate is now over 20%, not exactly a vote of confidence for either party.

Generic Congressional Ballot
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Democrat
46.3

44.5
42.8
43.8
40.7
  Republican
46.0

39.7
38.5
38.0
38.3
  Net
0.3

4.8
4.3
5.8
2.4


There have been no new looks at 2016 so I will repeat last month’s data set and await new polls this coming month.  The headline:  it’s Hillary’s to lose at this point, and the Republican field is deep but split, with Marco Rubio holding a modest lead.

Presidential Preference - Dem.
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Clinton


58
58
64
64
  Biden


19
19
18
18
  Warren


8
8
5
5
  Cuomo


3
3
3
3







Presidential Preference - Repub.
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Rubio


22
22
20
20
  Paul, Rand


10
10
16
16
  Christie


13
13
15
15
  Ryan


15
15
15
15
  Bush, Jeb


13
13
11
11
  Huckabee


11
11
n/a
n/a







Head-to-Head
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Clinton


49
49
49
49
  Rubio


41
41
42
42







Net Favorability - Dem. (among Dems)
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Clinton


69
69
79
79
  Biden


67
67
62
62
  Warren


40
40
25
25
  Cuomo


20
20
22
22







Net Favorability - Repub. (Among Repubs)
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Ryan


69
69
62
62
  Rubio


47
47
43
43
  Paul, Rand


48
48
39
39
  Bush, Jeb


47
47
33
33
  Christie


15
15
9
9
  Huckabee


59
59
n/a
n/a







Senate Projections
7-Nov

7-Feb
8-Mar
8-Apr
8-May
  Total Forecast Democrat


50
50
50
50
    Democrat Not Up


34
34
34
34
    Demomcrat Solid


11
11
11
11
    Democrat Leaning


5
5
5
5







  Total Forecast Republican


50
50
50
50
    Republican Not Up


31
31
31
31
    Pepublican Solid


14
14
14
14
    Republican Leaning


5
5
5
5







* Italics mean no new info from prior month










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