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WPA's Weekly Political Brief 120511

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  • 1. WPA’s Weekly Political Brief May 11, 2012 Page 1
  • 2. WPA’s Weekly Political BriefAs part of our continuing effort to keep our clients and friends up-to-date on the politicalenvironment as we head toward Election Day, 2012, we’ll be distributing these weekly data updatesevery Friday.In each update you can expect to find the following key indicators tracked: • Direction of the Country • Obama Job Approval • National Unemployment • Obama Approval on the Economy • Generic Congressional Ballot • National & per capita debtIn addition, each week we’ll feature a few charts showing what we think is the most interesting andtimely new data from that week. This week we have: • A look at how Americans perceive same sex marriage. • A review of the April jobs report and recent employment trends. Page 2
  • 3. Weekly SummaryWhile disapproval of President Obama ticked up slightly, Americans are still divided on the Presidentand disapproval remains below 50%.Support for both parties on the generic congressional ballot is up, with Republicans leading slightly.• Two of the last three months have seen Republicans leading on the generic ballot, and the third was a tie. This is an uncomfortable sign for Democratic trend watchers.With President Obama’s much publicized announcement of support for same-sex marriage thisweek, the divisive issue from 2004 has been brought back into the headlines.• While overall support for same-sex marriage is slightly higher this year than previous years, it remains a very divisive issue.• It also remains an issue that only 3% of Americans prioritize, unlike the jobs and the economy, which 48% of Americans believe is the most important issue facing the nation today.A closer look at the April jobs report shows that March and April had job growth below expectations,and decreased workforce participation. With 53% of Americans disapproving of the President’shandling of the economy, and expectations set so high early in the administration for recovery,President Obama will need to find a better way to address the most important issue to mostAmericans. Page 3
  • 4. Most Americans are unhappy with the direction of the country. Direction of the County100%90%80% 75%70% 63% 64% 63% 57% 60% 60%60%50%40% 36% 34% 33% 29% 29% 30%30% 20% 18%20%10% 0% Jan-10 Apr-10 Jul-10 Oct-10 Jan-11 Apr-11 Jul-11 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Approve Disapprove Source: Real Clear Politics Page 4
  • 5. Obama’s disapproval ticked up slightly this week, though it has not yet risen above 50%. Obama Job Approval100%90%80%70%60% 52% 52% 49% 51% 51% 50% 48% 48% 49% 49% 48% 47%50%40% 46% 46% 46% 47% 47% 48% 48% 42% 44% 43% 44% 44%30%20%10% 0% Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Approve Disapprove One Week Ago One Month Ago Approve 48% 48% Disapprove 47% 47% Source: Real Clear Politics Page 5
  • 6. The national debt continues to escalate. $15,711,526,215,158 U.S. National Debt$138,350 Debt Per Taxpayer$50,113 Debt Per Citizen Source: USDebtclock.org Page 6
  • 7. While generic ballot support for both parties has ticked upwards, they are still very close, which is a good long term trend Republicans. Generic Congressional Ballot100% Previous Election Day Generic Ballots90% 100% R+7 seats D+37 seats D+29 seats R+69 seats80% 49% 47% 54% 53% 52% 45% 46% 43% 50%70% 0%60% 2004 2006 2008 201050% 46% 45% 44% 43% 44% 42% 43% 44% 41%40% 45% 44% 41% 42% 43% 42% 43% 43% 41%30%20%10% 0% Democrat Republican Source: Real Clear Politics Seat change includes Congressional and Senate gains Page 7
  • 8. While support for gay marriage has seen a slight rise over the last year, it remains a divisive issue. It also remains a very low priority issue for the vast majority of Americans. Most Important Issue Economy/Jobs 48% Health care 5%Budget deficit/National debt 5% Education 3% Partisan politics 3% Moral values/Family values 3% Fuel costs 3%Big government/Bureaucracy 2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law 100% as valid with the same rights as traditional marriages? 80% 56% 53% 56% 57% 53% 53% 60% 48% 50% 40% 45% 48% 48% 42% 46% 44% 40% 40% 20% 0% 5/8-11/06 5/10-13/07 5/8-11/08 5/7-10/09 5/3-6/10 5/5-8/11 12/15-18/11 5/3-6/12 Should Should not Source: CBS News/New York Times April 13-17 Gallup May 3-6 Page 8
  • 9. A majority of American’s continue to disapprove of the Obama economy. Obama Economic Approval100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 53% 50.0% 40.0% 41% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Approve Disapprove Source: Pollster.com Page 9
  • 10. While unemployment dropped to 8.1%, other factors showed April’s unemployment report was particularly bad... 12% Official vs. Discouraged 9.60% 9.10% 8.90% 8.90% 10% 8.70% 8.70% 8% 9% 8.50% 8.30% 8.30% 6% 8.20% 8.10% 4% 2% 0% Apr-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 Official (U3) Total Unemployed plus discouraged workers (U4) National Unemployment Rate12.0%10.0% 8.0% 6.0% April, 2012 8.1% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics & Gallup Page 10
  • 11. Recent drops in unemployment have corresponded with drops in workforce participation. Recent months saw fewer jobs added than expected and not enough jobs have been added to keep up with population growth. U-6 Unemployment vs. Workforce Participation 17 64.3 64.216.5 64.1 16 64 63.915.5 63.8 15 63.7 Net Change in Month14.5 Workforce 63.6 March -164K 63.5 14 April -342K 63.413.5 63.3 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 U-6 Unemployment Workforce Participation Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics & Gallup Page 11
  • 12. One of the over riding themes forming is that economic expectations do not match economicreality. Same-sex marriage and other distraction issues will have a hard time fighting againstAmerican’s most important issue: jobs and the economy. RealityExpectations Source: U.S. Department of Labor data, Way and Means staff calculations, January 2099 Romer/Bernstein Report Page 12
  • 13. For additional information about this or any other of our services, please feel free to contact: Bryon Allen Chris Wilson Chris Perkins Partner and COO Partner and CEO Partner 202.470.6300 405.286.6500 202.494.3084 E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:BAllen@WPAResearch.com CWilson@WPAResearch.com CPerkins@WPAResearch.com Ryan Steusloff Vice President 202.470.6300 rsteusloff@WPAResearch.com Page 13

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