Worth a watch, especially on this particular network even though Morning Joe offers much more reality than most of the rest of MSNBC’s schedule. Today’s reminder of reality comes from Wall Street Journal’s White House correspondent Carol Lee, who points out that the sunny rhetoric from Barack Obama and his administration has a “total disconnect” to the reality for most Americans, as seen in the latest NBC/WSJ poll.
Time for another pivot?
“The President was campaigning, raising money in California a few weeks ago,” Lee notes, “and he was saying, ‘People feel better than they did five years ago’ … some of the folks who participated in this poll explicitly said that they don’t feel better than they did five years ago.” Lee pointed out one particularly bad metric in the poll, which was “the 79% of people who think their kids’ future is not going to be better than their own — I mean, that’s a huge number.”
Actually, the number is 76% rather than 79%, either of which is a huge number. In fact, it’s the highest in the NBC/WSJ poll series, far exceeding the 57% in June 2009 at the start of the recovery, and the 56% in September 2008 when the Great Recession sharply deepened. The last time this series asked that question was May 2012, and at that time 63% felt that the next generation would do worse than the current one. Today’s reading is the highest since September 1993, when the US had already begun a much more significant recovery than the Obama recovery of today.
Interestingly, though, the pessimism isn’t quite as apparent in the other question on America’s future. Six in ten believe America is in a state of decline, as opposed to 38% who don’t, but that’s hardly the worst result in the series. In September 2008, again at the crest of the Great Recession, 74% thought America was in a state of decline. By January 2011, though, the question got a 54/42 for decline, so the 60/38 shows that even that wan optimism has ebbed away a bit.
On the other hand, 50% now think the economy is recovering, although 23% believe it’s only doing so for the wealthy. Bragging about the stock market probably won’t help Obama on this score, in other words. Only 27% believe that Obamanomics is lifting all boats in this recovery, and 47% don’t think we’re improving at all.
Lee and Joe Scarborough are right about the “total disconnect” between the White House rhetoric and the reality on the ground for most Americans. That will make it difficult for Democrats to talk about the economy in the midterm elections, even though it’s by far and away the top priority for voters in this cycle, without looking like complete shills for an incompetent and out-of-touch administration. That’s why they’re planning to talk about immigration (also a disaster for Obama in this poll, by the way), contraception, climate change, and pretty much everything else that voters don’t care about in order to distract them from the failure of Obama on the economy. That only worked, though, when Obama was on the ticket — and after the last twenty months of incompetence, that sale won’t work a second time anyway.