Election fatigue has set in and the general feeling is that most people can’t wait for this election to be over so that they can get on with the important work of moving this country forward, rebuilding the middle class, stimulating the economy, increasing demand, restoring consumer confidence, and securing the future for our children. Wednesday, November 7 will be a day of joy, regardless of which party comes out victorious because it will mark an end to one of the most contentious, racially polarized and negative election seasons in recent memory. I am supporting President Barack Obama. I believe he offers the best opportunity and the most balanced approach to growing the American economy while maintaining the delicate balance between government safety nets and the social contract with Americans.
The last few days of the campaign have provided great voter optics for the president. Here are five reasons why the President should feel confident going into Tuesday’s election.
1. Momentum has shifted, and Obama is now leading in the Real Clear Politics poll by 0.3 points. At this point the national polls have been made largely irrelevant because of the importance of the swing states and Hurricane Sandy. Gallup suspended national polling due to Hurricane Sandy noting, “It is impossible to adequately weight to compensate for large segments of the population who cannot be reached at all in a survey, or in very low percentages, and whose opinions may have changed from previous, pre-storm measures.” I don’t know why the other national pollsters haven’t followed suit, but ever since Gallup stopped their highly questionable polls of likely voters, Obama’s numbers have ticked up on Real Clear Politics and the latest Rasmussen poll has the race tied with each candidate receiving 48%.
2. The October jobs report showed that unemployment remained below 8%. The October unemployment rate was 7.9%. In October the country created 171,000 jobs and the August and September numbers were revised upwards adding another 84,000 jobs. There has been 25 consecutive months of job growth and under Obama there has been a net gain in jobs. The New York Times reported that the October report should allay any suspicion that the September numbers were a one-month statistical fluke, or that the result of the Department of Labor cooking the books for Obama.
3. Late-breaking endorsements provide an indication that Obama appeals to moderates and independent leaders. Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have both endorsed Obama in recent days. The moderate Republican and the independent mayor had different reasons for endorsing the president. Powell cited Obama’s handling of the economy, saying, “Generally we've come out of the dive and we're starting to gain altitude,” as the basis for his endorsement. Powell went on to say, “I saw stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years. Consumer confidence is rising." Bloomberg’s endorsement was based on Obama’s commitment to the environment, education and women’s reproductive rights. In his endorsement letter Bloomberg, articulated why he believes Obama is best- suited to lead the country into the future:
“When I step into the voting booth, I think about the world I want to leave my two daughters, and the values that are required to guide us there. The two parties’ nominees for president offer different visions of where they want to lead America. One believes a woman’s right to choose should be protected for future generations, recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom, and sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not.”
4. Hurricane Sandy and the response to it allowed the president to show what the government does best. Help those who need help when help is needed. While the President was working with Republican Governor Chris Christie to provide relief and support, Republicans were silent on the plan to eliminate the agency that provides that support. In a plea for government assistance, Staten Island residents said, “We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Republican Borough President James Molinaro said “This is America, not a third world nation.” Obama picked up the phone and talked with Molinaro said the Staten Island Advance. Molinaro, who had slammed private and non-profit organizations' unwillingness or inability to support the victims of the storm said of the president, “"He was very good. It was a great comfort. He made it very clear: Whatever you need you have. We will do for you what you need."
5. The 24/7 news cycle and the short attention span of the low information undecided voter. I find it hard to believe that there would be undecided and/or uninspired voters this late in the election season, but for those that are still on the fence or may be had decided to stay home, the last few days should give them reason to vote for Obama. The last visual going into the election Tuesday will be a president that is leading in the polls, unemployment rate declining, steady job growth, endorsements by leading mainstream figures in politics, and the president working hand in hand with Republicans to bring government resources to bear for those in need. Like I said, powerful voter optics.