Economy concerns may doom Democrats

By Chris Stirewalt  -  Published April 28, 2014  -

jobfair_miami_102313Much of the discussion around ObamaCare and midterms has centered around the question of whether ObamaCare is working or not. How good or how bad the controversial law is will take years to reveal. A new poll out from National Journal, however, reminds us what the problem for Democrats this year is. It’s not the policy per se, but the belief among voters that President Obama’s policies are hurting their chances for prosperity. The poll, which doesn’t even limit itself to registered voters, still finds the president stuck with low job approval (41 percent). There’s also the intensity question: “The share of adults who strongly disapprove of his performance (39 percent) is nearly double that of those who strongly approve (21 percent)…”

Demographic disaster - White voters will be the key in the states crucial to Democrats’ remaining hopes to hold on to the Senate – particularly in states with substantially whiter populations than the nation as a whole, like Iowa (92 percent white), Colorado (88 percent white) and Minnesota (87 percent white) “Among whites overall, just 35 percent said they approve of his performance, while 59 percent disapprove,” wrote Ron Brownstein.

Why so low? - “Just 25 percent of all respondents said they believed his agenda would increase opportunities for people like them. That's the smallest positive response the poll has recorded except for the two surveys last fall. In the new poll, a full 46 percent said they believed his actions would diminish their opportunities-essentially tying the 47 percent in each of last fall’s polls as his worst showing on that measure. The remaining 23 percent said they did not think his actions would affect their opportunities.”

The fast food recovery - NYT: “The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. In essence, the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of a new report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.  ‘Fast food is driving the bulk of the job growth at the low end — the job gains there are absolutely phenomenal,’ said Michael Evangelist, the report’s author… But job losses and gains have been skewed. Higher-wage industries — like accounting and legal work — shed 3.6 million positions during the recession and have added only 2.6 million positions during the recovery. But lower-wage industries lost two million jobs, then added 3.8 million.”