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August 13, 2011 / Political Fluency

What the Hell is Going On?

The most chaotic economic news since the financial collapse in 2008 happened over the past two weeks – a debt deal that kicks the can down the road, the first ever credit rating downgrade in our nation’s history, and then this past week the Dow ended down 175 points while swinging either up or down 400 points Monday through Thursday. And investors have no idea what to expect in the short-term.

The exclamation point to all of this is the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, finally announcing the candidacy he’s been teasing for months. Matt Drudge linked a British newspaper article with the headline, “The Man Who Can Save America?” to heighten the religious fervor of the announcement in these dismal times.

President Obama’s approval ratings are plummeting to the lowest of his presidency. Ironically the economic chaos that cleared the path for his election 3 years ago is now causing him to be as unpopular as his predecessor.

The biggest worry for the president in 2012 is the 50.1% disapproval in the RCP average. The first question voters ask themselves when an incumbent faces reelection are “Is the incumbent doing a good job?” If the answer is Yes, the incumbent almost always wins. If the answer is No, then the voters ask themselves “Is the alternative candidate acceptable to replace the incumbent?”

For the Republican candidate, the first question is No for a majority of voters right now – enough to unseat the president. The feeling on the right is that their candidate is halfway up the hill already and it is “only” a matter of choosing a candidate that is acceptable to the 50.1% that disapprove of Obama.

By the way, the answer to Drudge’s question about Rick Perry is No.


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