Strategist Cook: Obama Re-election Pivots on 8-9% Unemployment

Tuesday, 08 Feb 2011 03:28 PM

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President Barack Obama’s re-election pivots partly on a tipping point between 8 and 9 percent in the national unemployment rate, elections strategist Charlie Cook writes in the National Journal. Of course, inflation will play a part, too, especially with rising food costs, but the jobless rate carries more than its own weight.

Barack Obama, election, unemployment
President Barack Obama
“A decline to around 8 percent would likely bode well for Obama’s re-election chances,” Cook writes. “If it remains around 9 percent, one can argue that most any major Republican nominee has a good chance of winning.”

What’s clearer is that Obama should not expect the kind of surge in economic growth that helped President Ronald Reagan return to office in a landslide. Unemployment plunged to 7.2 percent by November 1984 from a peak of 10.8 percent just two years earlier.

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