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  • 1. WPA’s Weekly Political Brief October 19, 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 political environmentas we head toward Election Day, 2012, we will distribute these weekly data updates every 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 debt • Romney vs. ObamaIn addition, each week we will feature a few charts showing what we think is the most interesting andtimely new data from that week. This week we have: • What the Presidential Election can tell us about the expected gains and losses in the House. • The unemployment rate in states that elected Republican Governors in 2010. • Impressions of the candidates on important issues following the second Presidential debate. • A look at the changes in drilling permits approved under the last three presidents. • A comparison of the Reagan economic recovery to the Obama economic recovery. • A look at how social media is becoming the dominant source of political news around the nation. Page 2
  • 3. Weekly Summary• Many people are wondering about the outcome of the race for a majority in the House of Representatives, but the close Presidential election suggests that Republicans will maintain control. (pg. 8). o In previous presidential election years, there have normally been small gains by either party, even in landslide elections .• The unemployment rate dropped an average of 1.1% in the 17 states that elected Republican Governors in 2010 (pg. 11). o This outpaces the 8 states that elected Democratic Governors in 2010 by 0.3%.• Mitt Romney was seen as the stronger candidate on a variety of issues following the second Presidential debate (pg. 13). o Romney scored better than Obama on the Economy, Healthcare, Taxes, the Deficit and Leadership.• Drilling permits became a large discussion point following the second Presidential debate, as the topic caused a heated exchange between Romney and Obama (pg. 14). o Comparing the last 3 presidents and their record on drilling permits shows that under Obama, approved permits have dropped by 36% while they rose significantly under Clinton and Bush.• Mitt Romney made a point to compare the Obama Recovery to the Reagan Recovery during Tuesday night’s debate (pg. 15). • A comparison of economic indicators of the recoveries under the two administrations shows that Reagan’s recovery achieved significantly more positive results than Obama’s recovery.• The 2008 Presidential election was originally considered the “Social Media” election, but a look at current trends shows that 2012 is taking social media and politics to new heights. (pg. 16). Page 3
  • 4. Only 40% of Americans believe that the nation is headed in the right direction. Direction of the Country100%90% 77%80% 74%70% 66% 64% 66% 64% 63% 63% 61% 62%60% 56% 47% 2010 Election50% 40%40% 31% 31% 29% 31% 28% 27% 30% 31%30% 27% 17% 19%20%10% 0% Jan-11 Jan-10 Apr-10 Aug-10 Apr-11 Aug-11 Jan-12 Apr-12 Aug-12 Oct-10 Oct-11 Oct-12 May-10 Sep-10 May-11 Sep-11 May-12 Sep-12 Feb-10 Jul-10 Dec-10 Feb-11 Jul-11 Dec-11 Feb-12 Jul-12 Mar-10 Jun-10 Nov-10 Mar-11 Jun-11 Nov-11 Mar-12 Jun-12 Right Direction Wrong Track One Month Ago One Year Ago Right Direction 37% 19% Wrong Track 57% 74% Source: Real Clear Politics Page 4
  • 5. President Obama’s job approval rating remains below 50%. Obama Job Approval100%90%80%70%60% 49% 52% 51% 52% 51% 50% 48% 48% 49% 48% 48% 49% 50% 49% 49% 49% 49%50%40% 46% 47% 47% 48% 47% 46% 48% 48% 48% 42% 44% 43% 44% 44% 46% 46% 47%30%20%10% 0% Approve Disapprove One Week Ago One Month Ago Approve 49% 49% Disapprove 48% 48% Source: Real Clear Politics Page 5
  • 6. The National Debt increased by roughly $20 Billion since last week alone. $16,186,254,664,871 U.S. National Debt $141,312 Debt Per Taxpayer$51,450 Debt Per Citizen Source: USDebtclock.org and the CBO Page 6
  • 7. Democrats hold a slim one-point lead over Republicans on the Generic Congressional ballot with less than 3 weeks until the election. Generic Congressional Ballot100% Previous D+37 seatsDay Generic Ballotsseats Election D+29 seats R+6990% R+7 seats 100%80% 49% 47% 54% 53% 52% 45% 46% 43% 50%70% 0%60% 2004 2006 2008 201050% 46% 45% 46% 43% 44% 42% 43% 44% 41% 43% 43% 43% 45%40% 45% 44% 43% 44% 41% 42% 43% 42% 43% 41% 41% 43% 41%30%20%10% 0% Republican Seat change includes CongressionalReal Clear Politics Source: Democrat and Senate gains Page 7
  • 8. In previous Presidential Election years, House gains have typically been modest, even in landslide victories. With a very close 2012 Presidential race, there is a small likelihood that either party makes substantial gains. Correlation: 0.65 Incumbent President Vote Difference & Seats Gained in Congress 50 1964 40President’s Political Party Congressional Seat Gain 30 1944 20 1936 1984 1992 2004 10 1940 1972 1956 0 -15% -10% -5% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% -10 1996 -20 -30 -40 1980 -50 -60 Incumbent President Vote Difference Source: WPA Analysis Page 8
  • 9. While President Obama’s economic approval has risen in recent weeks, it remains below 50% with only a few short weeks until the election. Obama Economic Approval100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 51% 50.0% 2010 Election 40.0% 46% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Source: Pollster.com Approve Disapprove Page 9
  • 10. After the omission of California’s jobless claims was corrected this week, there was a return to around the 18-month average of 388,000 jobless claims reported around the nation. While the drop below 8% unemployment originally seemed like a good sign for the economy, the fixing of California’s error brought back a stern sense of reality. Jobs Created by Month200,000 181,000150,000 142,000 114,000 125,000 = Number of new jobs needed to100,000 keep pace with population growth 50,000 0 July August September National Unemployment Rate12.0%10.0% 8.0% September 2012 6.0% 7.8% 4.0% 2.0% 0.0% Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Page 10
  • 11. The unemployment rate dropped an average of 1.1% in the 17 states that elected Republican Governors in 2010. This outpaces the 8 states that elected Democratic Governors in 2010 by 0.3%. January September State 2011 August 2012 2012 DifferenceRepublican 8.6% 7.6% 7.5% -1.1%GovernorsDemocratic 8.5% 7.9% 7.7% -0.8%GovernorsFlorida 10.9% 8.8% 8.7% -2.2%Colorado 8.8% 8.2% 8.0% -0.8%Iowa 6.1% 5.5% 5.2% -0.9%Nevada 13.8% 12.1% 11.8% -2.0%Ohio 9.0% 7.2% 7.0% -2.0%Pennsylvania 8.0% 8.1% 8.2% 0.2%Wisconsin 7.7% 7.5% 7.3% -0.4% Source: BLS Page 11
  • 12. With under a month until the election, Mitt Romney holds a lead over President Obama for the first time this year. Obama vs. Romney100%90%80%70%60%50% 47% 49% 49% 49% 47% 49% 47% 46% 46% 45% 47% 47% 46% 47% 47% 47% 48% 48% 49% 47% 48%40% 46% 46% 46% 45% 45% 47% 47% 43% 45% 44% 43% 45% 44% 45% 43% 45% 44% 44% 45% 45% 44%30%20%10% 0% Source: Real Clear Politics Obama Romney Page 12
  • 13. Mitt Romney’s performance in the second debate resulted in him being declared the better candidate on a number of issues, most notably on the economy, where he was ahead of Obama by 31% and 14% in CBS’s and CNN’s polls respectively. Stronger Candidate on the Issues Following Second Debate100%90% 34% 36%80% 40% 44% 46% 46%70% 1%60% 5% 6% 5% 5% 5% Obama50% Undecided40% Romney30% 65% 59% 54% 51% 49% 49%20%10% 0% CBS - Better on CNN - Better on CNN - Better on CNN - Better on CNN - Better on CNN - Stronger the Economy the Economy Healthcare Taxes Deficit Leadership Source: CBS News and CNN Polls, October 17, 2012 Page 13
  • 14. Granting drilling permits for energy exploration became a heated moment in this week’s Presidential Debate. A look at the records of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama shows that permit approvals have dropped dramatically under the Obama Administration. Change in Number Drilling Permits Approved During Last Three Presidencies150%125% 116%100%75% 58%50%25% 0%-25% -36%-50% Bill Clinton (FY 1992 v. FY 2000) George W. Bush (FY 2000 v. FY 2008) Barack Obama (FY 2008 v. FY 2011) Source: Bureau of Land Page 14
  • 15. Mitt Romney made a point to compare the recovery results of the Reagan Administration to the results of the Obama Administration during the debate this week, prompting many to compare the two recoveries side-by-side. Change in GDP Growth Change in Household Income Change in Payroll Jobs50.0% 10.0% 20% 4.3% 15% 5.0% 11%25.0% 0.0% 10% 18.5% 6.7% -5.0% 5% 2% -4.8% 0.0% -10.0% 0% Reagan Obama Reagan Obama Reagan Obama Change in Long-Term Unemployment Change in Food Stamp Enrollment Average Weeks of Unemployment 50 25% 50% 39.8 11% 34% 40 0% 25% 30-25% 20 15.2 0%-50% 10 -49% -8%-75% -25% 0 Reagan Obama Reagan Obama Reagan Obama Source: Investor’s Business Daily Page 15
  • 16. While 2008 was originally thought to be the “Social Media” election, social media usage for the 2012 election has skyrocketed among all adults. Whether it’s promoting candidates, or seeking news, social media and the internet has become the go-to source for all things in the election.Adults Fact-Checking Political Facts Online for 2012 Source of Campaign News for 2012 Other No Sources 47% Yes 42% 53% Social Media 58% Source of Election News in 2012 Where Unsure Voters Will Go to Help Decision Other on Election Day Sources 20% Social Media 40% Other Sources 60% Internet 80% Source: Open-Site.org Page 16
  • 17. 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 Matt Gammon Vice President Vice President 202.470.6300 202.470.6300 rsteusloff@WPAResearch.com mgammon@WPAResearch.com Page 17