Unemployment eating at Democratic base

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 13:46

Over the last five weeks of Gallup polling, here has been Obama's approval rating by age group, compared to his 2008 performance among the age group:

Obama approval, by age group, compared to 2008 exit polls
18-29: 58%, down 8%
30-49: 48%, down 4%
50-64: 46%, down 4%
65+: 43%, down 2%

Obama's biggest drop from 2008 has come from his youthful base. With unemployment dominating the news today, it is worth noting that unemployment has hit youth hardest (statistics generated on this page):

Unemployment by age, May 2010, with change from November 2008
16-24: 18.1%, up 4.1%
25-34: 10.5%, up 3.5%
35-44: 8.1%, up 2.6%
45-54: 7.7%, up 2.5%
55+: 7.1%, up 2.3%

These numbers explain both why President Obama has a high approval rate among the unemployed, and why unemployment is hurting Democratic electoral hopes.  Young people, who have been hit hardest by the unemployment wave in both absolute and relative terms, give Obama his highest approval rating and also have defected from Obama more than any other age group.

Unemployment is hitting the Democratic base hard.  In addition to massive yoouth unemployment, African-Americans and blue collar workers suffering wildly disproportionate.  To speculate for a moment, this disproportionate unemployment may also be connected to Democratic enthusiasm problems. It is hard to be excited, or even particularly engaged in civic society, when you lack a job. This could drive Democratic turnout  down, even among groups who still generally like President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Chris Bowers :: Unemployment eating at Democratic base

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Attacking The Base (4.00 / 2)
is an honored Democratic Party tradition.  Only DFHs who hate America think otherwise.

And it's not just broad-barreled stuff like this.  As >Jeff notes in quick hits:

Nation's Governors Slash Education Spending

Via Politics K-12:

"Mid-year budget cuts, typically considered a fiscal option of last resort, were widespread in fiscal 2010. Forty states made mid-year cuts totaling $22 billion. That's a lot even compared to the previous economic downturn in fiscal 2003, when 37 states made $12 billion in mid-year reductions.

K-12 education was a prime target for reductions. Thirty-four states cut spending on elementary and secondary education in fiscal year 2010, while 36 states made cuts to higher education.

Next fiscal year isn't looking good either. Thirty-one states have proposed cutting K-12 in fiscal year 2011. And 31 states have also proposed cutting higher education.

This is bad for the Democratic base (as well as the nation, of course) in so many ways it makes your head spin.  If Democrats actually cared and fought for their base, they might even accidentally find themselves setting some political narratives for a change.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

Our democratic governer is constrained by (0.00 / 0)
a balanced budget amendment.  Yes he is failing  in the polls, because he has to cut the budget on education and the poor, but the balanced  budget rule means he has no choice. This has happened  in several states.   Why have you not written any articles on how destructive these  amendments are.  Even states with new deal style governors can't experiment with new deal solutions because they can't use Keynesianism.  They are locked into rubinism whether they want  to be or not.

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[ Parent ]
I Have Written About State Budgets Before (0.00 / 0)
And for the most part these aren't amendments.  States generally have this written into their original constitutions, and use "rainy day funds" as cushions that only work in mild recessions.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
In my state it was an amendment that passed in the (0.00 / 0)
late 80s or early 90s.

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[ Parent ]
In California (4.00 / 1)
balanced budgets per se aren't the problem.  The problem is other provisions--most notably the 2/3rds rule for passing budgets and raising taxes--that both individually and collectively make the budgeting process increasingly irrational.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
"No choice" (4.00 / 2)
Raise taxes on the rich.

< crickets >

Anyone?  Anyone?

[ Parent ]
Indeed (4.00 / 5)
Too bad this White House doesn't care about unemployed people.

To be focusing on debt reduction (4.00 / 4)
at this moment is history is fucking criminal. (Is Obama going to have audacity after big losses in November to endorse his commission's plan to cut SS benefits?)

I simply have no patience for people who apologize for Obama and for Dems by saying they're doing all they do under the circumstances. We're in serious danger of a double-dip recession. The states are in crisis. The country's burning.

Watching Dems, I'm at the end of my rope and I'm relatively financially secure. I can't imagine what the un- and underemployed are thinking. Actually, I can.

Vote green party (4.00 / 1)

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[ Parent ]
Is it unemployment or the President's response to it? (4.00 / 1)
I never think a high unemployment rate, in and of itself, is a sufficient reason to disapprove of a politician.  Rather, it should be how the politician responds to it and what they propose to do about it.

I certainly think it's ridiculous for Republicans, as Obama so succinctly put it, to drive our economy into the ditch, and then criticize Democrats from the sidelines as they try to fix it, and voters rewarding them for that.


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