Can Obama pull a Reagan?

However, a new analysis from Laffer and Associates suggests that it will be very difficult for Team Obama to replicate Reagan. Reagan’s numbers bottomed out in January 1983, right after the trough of the 1982 recession, at about 35%. But for the rest of 1983, Reagan’s numbers steadily climbed and eventually surpassed 50% by the end of that year. For Mr. Obama, the trend line this year has been in the opposite direction.

“Reagan’s numbers really began to soar by late ’83,” says Arthur Laffer, who was an economic adviser to Reagan. “The numbers really tracked the economic recovery.”

That kind of political resurrection could happen for Mr. Obama if the economy heals. But right now unemployment exceeds 9%, and presidents typically don’t get re-elected when unemployment is more than 8%.

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