Gallup: Economic confidence dropping sharply for second month in a row

posted at 2:01 pm on August 7, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The question for the economic fight in the presidential election may not be whether voters buy Mitt Romney’s tax plan or Barack Obama’s class warfare.  It may be whether they’re buying anything at all.  After six straight months of improvements in consumer confidence, Gallup’s latest survey shows a drop for the second month in a row — and well below a healthy indicator for economic expansion (via Instapundit):

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index averaged -26 in July, a decline from -22 in June, and close to the 2012 low of -27 measured in January. Economic confidence improved during the first five months of the year, but July marks the second monthly decline in a row. Still, the index remains significantly higher than the -42 from July of a year ago.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index consists of two measures — one assessing current U.S. economic conditions and the other assessing the nation’s economic outlook. Americans were more pessimistic about both current conditions and the economic outlook during July. Fourteen percent of Americans said the economy is excellent or good, while 42% considered it poor, resulting in a -28 current conditions rating. The -23 economic outlook rating reflects a five-percentage-point decline from June, with 36% of Americans saying the economy is getting better and 59% saying it is getting worse. This is the lowest economic outlook rating of 2012.

Both measures declined over the last two months, with the economic outlook dropping more sharply.  That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for hope.  When broken out by political affiliation, the numbers show that even Democrats aren’t particularly optimistic, except in relation to everyone else.

Democrats are the only group to have a positive number in the confidence index, unchanged from last month at +7.  Confidence dropped among Republicans and independents; the former dropped five points to hit -54, and the latter dropped six points to reach -30.  Both groups fall below the overall number, and the gap between independents and Democrats has to worry Team Obama.

On the other hand, the latest results from Rasmussen may allay those fears:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows President Obama attracting 47% of the vote, while Mitt Romney earns support from 45%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.

This is only the second time in more than two months of daily tracking that Obama has reached the 47% level of support. Prior to today, he had led Romney on only one of the preceding 34 days. Romney led by four on Friday morning just before the jobs report. See tracking history. As with all bounces, it remains to be seen whether this reflects a lasting change in the race or is merely statistical noise.

Scott Johnson wonders whether Obama got a bump from the jobs report:

Rasmussen links Obama’s bounce to Friday’s jobs report, which I thought was a downer. I wonder if the negative advertising that Obama is running in swing states is paying dividends compounded by Romney’s inability to match it until after he is formally named the GOP nominee. In any event, for reasons we have discussed here previously, we think Rasmussen runs the best public poll and it is worth following if you want to understand the dynamics of the race.

The 163K number was a sharp improvement over the previous three months, and that may have given Obama a brief bump in polling.  It hasn’t done anything for consumer confidence, although that survey took place before the jobs number got released.  The lack of jobs and wage growth will probably mean more in confidence than the momentary bump from last Friday’s report, but we’ll see when we have more data in other consumer-confidence polls.


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Let it sink in toeople again then the realize hope and change is a loser. He’s toast

Conservative4ev on August 7, 2012 at 2:03 PM

He got a bump because of weekend polling. For the 1000th time, Rasmussen consistently has Obama doing horrible on Thursday and Friday and much better on Monday and Tuesday. The reason should be obvious by now. The good news is the election is on a Tuesday, so Barry is in deep doo-doo.

Doughboy on August 7, 2012 at 2:05 PM

“That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement for hope.”

Too bad it’s not an election year…

Seven Percent Solution on August 7, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Mitt must be talking down the economy again. /sarc

Liam on August 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

This is as good as it’s going to get America.

You likey?

PappyD61 on August 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Totally baffled how one reasonable jobs report gets a bump when all the previous lousy ones didn’t change the polls.

msmveritas on August 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Not sure why Ed’s using yesterday’s results instead of today’s, where Obama is +1.

bobs1196 on August 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

By the way……

The media is setting the agenda for Mitt. Talking about taxes again today. Another day the economy isn’t in the news.

UGH.

PappyD61 on August 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

The question for the economic fight in the presidential election may not be whether voters buy Mitt Romney’s tax plan or Barack Obama’s class warfare

How are those gas prices doing in your area, Ed? Up 30 cents a gallon over the weekend in my parts.

JPeterman on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

But, even more important, is the fact that nothing matters more in this election than the economy. Owning up to smaller missteps such as these won’t really matter like they did in Lindsay’s day. This time around, the big issue is the economy and why it isn’t improving. But Obama can’t possibly admit any real economic mistakes or it could spell political suicide. It’s Obama’s misfortune that a relatively minor transgression, like guessing wrong about the weather, won’t be enough to impact voters. The electorate often seems willing to give a “we’re all human” pass to a public official, provided the mistake isn’t egregious enough. But today, given the all-consuming economy issue, voters just don’t care much about those minor mistakes.

“It’s the economy, Stupid”.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

polling info is now out of date since the jobs report came in so good
 
gumbyandpokey on August 6, 2012 at 10:42 PM

rogerb on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

How are those gas prices doing in your area, Ed? Up 30 cents a gallon over the weekend in my parts.

JPeterman on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Crude is up, again, by 2 bucks today.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Possible: Obama supporters in polls aren’t worried aobut a bad economic indicators because, you know, “free stuff!”

apostic on August 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

When has a major NYT story been as ignored as the one the day before last week’s jobs report detailing how seasonal adjustments in July make that particular report the lease accurate of any all year?

BKeyser on August 7, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Romney just wants to be even w Obama heading into the conventions. Romney’s greatest fear is peaking too soon and generating an Obama sympathy backlash.

Romney is rightly content to keep Obama in the game for now, and lull his supporters into complacency.

matthew8787 on August 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

“Hope ‘n Change” – you got what you deserve, America. You elected a marionette extraordinaire and an inept destructive narcissistic degenerate to be your president. Suffer.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Fine. Great. Wonderful. But we keep hearing things like this and it sort of blends. The main problem is that the economy is just one issue, not a decisive one for a critical segment of voters, and even so it’s going to be an ambiguous toss up on the economy come November, as many voters will 1) blame Bush or 2) blame structural issues with the economy, or 3) think Romney is not the cure-all or 4) not really think the economy is an important issue (yes, for some, other issues, like gay marriage or illegal immigration or Obamacare, are the key). Track on multiple issues, and include (oppostion) to gay marriage in the mix because that will win over many Dem leaning independents.
Making the election primarily “about the econnomy” puts O on a playing field that discounts his leftist radicalism; we don’t want to do that. As important, the lethargic stag-conomy could be considered a by product of the out of control govt gone wild: so the bigger issue is thus this out of control govt (including spending), not the economy.

anotherJoe on August 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Who knew Gallup was so racist?

JohnGalt23 on August 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

I’ve got confidence, confidence that win or lose the lefties are going to go apeshiite crazy, so economically speaking I’m investing in more “hardware”.

Bishop on August 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Call Obama the RobbingHood.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I’ve addressed this elsewhere, but here we go again.

Rassmussens polling taken on Friday and Saturday suggested the jobs report had no real effect on polling. It wasn’t until Sunday polling was done that we saw any change, and the change was so abrupt and dramatic that we can assume it was likely an outlier. Simply put, dramatic jumps in tracking polls usually ARE the result of outlier, by simply virtue of the fact that only outliers can move tracking polls that quickly.

In addition, we need to keep two things else in mind. Since then Obama’s lead in Rass has already fallen from +2 to +1, which would seem to reinforce the idea that the shift was more a side effect of weekend polling.

More importantly, since the jobs reports, Gallop has shown Obama’s numbers have gradually dropping from a +2 point lead to an exact tie. This would seem to suggest that the job report was a slight negative for Obama, not a plus.

In case you’re wondering.

Gallop tracks polling over roughly a weeks span on time. This means they’re generally slower to show trends, but at least in theory should be somewhat more resistant to outliers.

Rasmussen uses a three day average, which is fine. Personally I’d go for a four day average, just to act as a buffer against weekend polling, which tends to favor democrats.

WolvenOne on August 7, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Who are the 4% undecided
Seriously

cmsinaz on August 7, 2012 at 2:33 PM

C’mon, Ed – Harry Reid’s streaking back and forth, foaming at the mouth, with his naughty bits flopping in the breeze.

You’re not supposed to be talking about this kind of stuff.

Midas on August 7, 2012 at 2:33 PM

..whatever…mittens (and obambi) still suxsuck!

Pragmatic on August 7, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Just wait until it gets out that Romney killed that woman whose husband was laid off from a steel mill years after Romney left Bain. I’m surprised Stephanie Cutter isn’t out there telling us that Romney should be charged with manslaughter.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM

But I did not vote for him! Is there any way we can just tax those that voted for him? Call it a fool tax. :-)

tims472 on August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Fourteen percent of Americans said the economy is excellent or good

18% believe that Elvis is alive, and living somewhere in Vermont.

Who are these people?

iurockhead on August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’ve got confidence, confidence that win or lose the lefties are going to go apeshiite crazy, so economically speaking I’m investing in more “hardware”.

Bishop on August 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Right there with ya.

Midas on August 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Same thing with confidence in Barry overall.

bayview on August 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM

OT- hey Ed any word on the “Starbucks Appreciation day”. lol
I’m waiting for the flood of pictures…

MontanaMmmm on August 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

tims472 on August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Relatively ‘free’ people always, always deserve their ‘leaders’.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:37 PM

so economically speaking I’m investing in more “hardware”.

Bishop on August 7, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Obama did advise that we “do some soul searching on guns”.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

OT- hey Ed any word on the “Starbucks Appreciation day”. lol
I’m waiting for the flood of pictures…

MontanaMmmm on August 7, 2012 at 2:36 PM

First World Problems Meme (Crying Woman):

Went to Chick-Fil-A to see hot lipstick le$bians making out.

Only two butch hags in flannel shirts showed up.

The Rogue Tomato on August 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Just wait until it gets out that Romney killed that woman whose husband was laid off from a steel mill years after Romney left Bain.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I’m completely ready for their to be real, painful, and permanent penalties for people who propagate that kind of bullsh1t. Seriously.

Midas on August 7, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Does anyone know what the Economic Confidence Index means in context? What does 0 mean? What was the number under Bush or Clinton?

hopeful on August 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Romney just wants to be even w Obama heading into the conventions. Romney’s greatest fear is peaking too soon and generating an Obama sympathy backlash.

Romney is rightly content to keep Obama in the game for now, and lull his supporters into complacency.

matthew8787 on August 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Romney would probably PREFER to be in the lead right now, but his campaign spending is limited to what he took in for the primaries, even though he has been outraising Obama the last three months. Once Romney is officially nominated at the convention, Romney can spend his entire “war-chest” in September and October.

It’s not clear whether voters are paying attention right now. There was a lot of interest prior to the SCOTUS decision on ObamaCare, which was followed by the letdown over Roberts’ cave, followed by the Fourth of July, followed by the Olympics, and the shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, and Romney’s trip overseas.

July and August are the times when most families with children go on vacation, when the children are off from school. Most polls show that married voters with children vote more Republican than single voters or childless couples, and the unemployed can’t afford vacations. So that telephone polls taken during “vacation time” are likely to undersample people who can afford vacations, and oversample those who can’t…and the polls will skew more toward Democrats in summer than when school is in session.

But the candidates are probably meeting lots of voters on vacation, if they vacation in swing states. They may not be home to answer polls, but they are listening to the candidates, and will vote in November if they like what they hear.

Steve Z on August 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Rasmussen links Obama’s bounce to Friday’s jobs report, which I thought was a downer. I wonder if the negative advertising that Obama is running in swing states is paying dividends compounded by Romney’s inability to match it until after he is formally named the GOP nominee. In any event, for reasons we have discussed here previously, we think Rasmussen runs the best public poll and it is worth following if you want to understand the dynamics of the race.

It could just statistical noise…a couple of points one way or the other does not mean much in tracking poll.

Terrye on August 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Romney just wants to be even w Obama heading into the conventions. Romney’s greatest fear is peaking too soon and generating an Obama sympathy backlash.

Romney is rightly content to keep Obama in the game for now, and lull his supporters into complacency.

matthew8787 on August 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

This

think 2 min drill halfway thru the 3rd qtr. leaves the other guys 20 minutes to comeback.
throw the bums out
Fred

jrsrigmvr on August 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

look at the Rasmussen chart, so far there is a periodic cycle where mitt is on top, followed by a tie with barry.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

on balance mitt is ahead by a very small margin. Statistical noise is a powerful thing, and it is risky to assume anything based on a couple of data points (esp. using moving averages)

Still, i’m not terribly optimistic…vicious negative advertising plus a barry-i-luv-u media is a tough adversary….the Left will fight back viciously…they are not demoralized and not intimidated

the scotus is deeply important to them…they want the scotus to impact the future very very much…it is there dream.

so i expect the left to go all in. Romney may prevail…but it will be by the thinnest of margins in the EV counts

r keller on August 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM

no real choice…that’s the bottom line.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on August 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

How are those gas prices doing in your area, Ed? Up 30 cents a gallon over the weekend in my parts.

JPeterman on August 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Was in San Diego last week-gas is over $4.00 in some areas. Amazingly I didn’t hear anyone complaining at the pump! Just went to the grocery store-yep, prices are up. More and more money is coming out of my pocket for gas and groceries and Obama is still at 46% ? Either these polls are entirely false or we have hit over 50% of takers in this society!

wolverinefan on August 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Went to Chick-Fil-A to see hot lipstick le$bians making out. Only two butch hags in flannel shirts showed up.
The Rogue Tomato on August 7, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Nobody likes ugly lesbians.

What I want to know (realizing in adavance the answer will not be pleasant) is why the Hell they need so many condoms that only the government can afford to buy them all.

logis on August 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

look at the Rasmussen chart, so far there is a periodic cycle where mitt is on top, followed by a tie with barry.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

on balance mitt is ahead by a very small margin. Statistical noise is a powerful thing, and it is risky to assume anything based on a couple of data points (esp. using moving averages)

Still, i’m not terribly optimistic…vicious negative advertising plus a barry-i-luv-u media is a tough adversary….the Left will fight back viciously…they are not demoralized and not intimidated

the scotus is deeply important to them…they want the scotus to impact the future very very much…it is there dream.

so i expect the left to go all in. Romney may prevail…but it will be by the thinnest of margins in the EV counts

r keller on August 7, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Per my prediciton model, the most important factor is the % of WHITE VOTERS who voted for Obama in 2008 that would defect from him and vote for Romney in 2012. Per my prediction model if 15% of the WHITE VOTERS who voted for Obama in 2008 leave him and vote for Romney in 2012 then Obama is going to lose the elections and Romney is going to win anywhere from 272 to 295 Electoral votes.

mnjg on August 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I wonder if the negative advertising that Obama is running in swing states is paying dividends compounded by Romney’s inability to match it until after he is formally named the GOP nominee.

I do not know much about election law or campaign finance law – but after decisions such as Citizen’s United – why is it that Romney, who is not yet the “official” republican nominee for President this election cannot run ads but Obama, who is also not yet the “official” Democratic nominee for President this election can run ads?

that makes no sense. It also makes no sense that one can’t limit how a corporation or PAC spends money in advertising – but you can on a candidate?

Frankly, there should be no laws or restrictions on donations or spending. If the candidate wants to spend the money on buying himself a new car – so what? What of it? His donors got suckered, big deal. Various religious institutions/leaders do this all the time. You are always taking a chance donating money to anyone or anything. the more regulations, the more screwed up our electoral process becomes. How is it considered remotely equitable that Obama can run all these ads but Romney cannot?

It makes no sense.

Monkeytoe on August 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

A one-day result in a daily tracking poll which is within the MOE of recent results for both candidates means exactly NOTHING.

If you are going to be fretting over such things, better lay in a good supply of Depends and big-girl panties for the next three months, you’re gonna need ‘em.

Adjoran on August 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

mnjg on August 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

yeah, i’ll take that in a heartbeat. That’s plausible.

but, i have to say that the Rs have been under 300 for a long time…barely getting a majority of EVs. In the case of barry, that shows how far left the country has come.

Maybe there’ll be a reversal sometime. But a narrow win will allow the press/left to shriek at everything mitt does, the smallest of roll-backs of the most obscure reg will be me with a phalanx of attack dogs.

r keller on August 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Hope and Change…

Hope-a-Dope and Chump Change, that is!

Marcola on August 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Right on cue, after the law which forces our health insurance company to provide “free” contraceptives to everyone in the nation has kicked in .. our monthly premium just jumped $250 !! Suweet.
:-(
Yeah, our economic confidence is dropping, and very SHARPLY !!

And, you know just how many libs wil get their increases and blame the EEEVILLL insurance companies. Arggh.

pambi on August 7, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Not sure why Ed’s using yesterday’s results instead of today’s, where Obama is +1.

bobs1196 on August 7, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Or, for that matter, why he switched from Gallup on the Confidence Index to Rasmussen at all. The Gallup rolling average has it tied up 46/46, and it is of registered voters, not likely voters.

Looking at the RCP average, the only reason Obama is ahead by more than a fraction of a percent is three polls (Pew, DDD and NBC) with terribly biased sampling. Unfortunately, they will skew the numbers for at least another 10 days, probably more.

Too bad that RCP does not show the D/R/I for each poll. That box they display the numbers in could easily be re-redesigned to accommodate one more column.

HTL on August 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Scott Johnson wonders whether Obama got a bump from the jobs report

I personally think it’s people afraid of being called racist if they say they don’t approve of him.

The only poll that matters comes in November.

ButterflyDragon on August 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM

8.3 and 1.5

CW on August 7, 2012 at 6:25 PM