Presidential polls ahead of the 2012 presidential debates show that Barack Obama may sweep all battleground states. Mitt Romney polls poorly on his handling of almost every issue in relation to President Obama, according to recent Washington Post polls. Real Clear Politics election 2012 state polls show Barack Obama ahead in most of the toss-up states.
Some states were hit particularly hard by the financial crisis and are still digging themselves out of the mess; Florida was in horrible shape, and Ohio risked losing GM. The president's leadership led to a massive economic turnaround that people directly felt, and the unemployment rate has come down in both of those states. President Obama and Mitt Romney will debate tonight on these results, the economy in general and other domestic issues.
Ahead of the debates, Washington Post polls show President Obama leading Mitt Romney on most top issues in the key battleground states of Florida and Ohio. The poll even shows that President Obama is more trusted to get the economy back on track in the next year or two. The economic results President Obama achieved in gross domestic product and jobs numbers may show why.
The fact that Romney is losing on nearly every issue explain why Real Clear Politics state polls show Barack Obama appears to be winning key battleground states, including Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and even Paul Ryan's home state of Wisconsin.
What results did President Obama achieve?
President Obama's first policy in office averted a second great depression. That's a pretty good start. Beyond that, Obama's first policy led to one of the greatest turnarounds in U.S. economic activity in history. The quarter before Obama took office, the economy shrank by a whopping 8.9%. It shrank so quickly that we couldn't even complete the math to know how bad things were until 2011. The employees and companies that report the data to the government were in shambles prior to Obama taking office, as can be seen in the Bureau of Economic Analysis report.
By the third quarter of Obama's presidency, the economy grew 3.5% This represents a 12.4% swing in output of the entire economy by the time President Obama's first policy impacted the country. For this reason, I and many other supporters consider Barack Obama an American hero.
The jobs numbers showed just as dramatic a swing. In December 2008, before the president took office, we lost 839,000 jobs in one month. Within a year, the economy was adding 141,000 jobs per month. That represents a million job per month swing in the direction of the economy. President Obama's economic leadership works. More than 4,500,000 jobs have been added in more than 29 consecutive months since the president's first policy yanked America from the teeth of an impending depression.
Compare these results to those of past presidents. By the first year, President Obama had turned around the job losses from the worst financial crisis since the depression. As you can see, George W. Bush's job trends simply continued downwards. His father's job trends turned downwards, even though they were on an upswing when George Bush Sr. took office. In contrast, Barack Obama's economic leadership took America's jobs picture from a collapsing pile of embers to a job growth trend that parallels Bill Clinton's directional trend.
If you do your own search of the data, you will find another surprise. During President Bush's two terms government hiring was very high. During President Obama's first term the government has been laying off employees every month. Job growth under Obama has been private sector job growth.
Just compare private sector job growth from the last year of Bush's term to Obama's economic leadership.
If you note, there is a major dip in job growth leading up to September 2011 when it resumed. During a fragile economic recovery, Republicans created a massive amount of uncertainty by creating the debt ceiling crisis. Though they had raised the debt ceiling 18 times under Reagan and about 7 times under Bush, they were not okay with the opposing party taking on more debt. Look what happened to job creation when the Republicans created a standoff that ended August 3rd 2011. After months of standoff, July created only 52,000 jobs. Do you think the Republicans jumped the gun on that issue?
I believe that congressional Republicans destroyed an accelerating jobs recovery, which would have led to more tax revenue, which would have lowered the deficit.
Since the president's recovery act and other policies were put in place to save GM and help stabilize housing, take a look at job growth throughout Obama's entire term.
Though we all wish job growth were faster today, and we all wish unemployment were lower today, the recovery of jobs growth was faster than each advanced economy financial crisis that we can compare it to. Take a look at 21 economic metrics as impacted by Obama's first policy here.
The job recovery under Obama started early. We are likely to pass the pre-crisis employment peak around the time of the elections. We all wish it were faster, but unfortunately this is faster.
President Obama put forwards a number of very specific jobs bills to accelerate jobs growth even more quickly. The American Jobs Act would have added a million more jobs this year. Though Republicans will say that there was bipartisan opposition to the bill, what they mean is two Democratic senators who are barely hanging onto their seats from districts that almost always vote Republican did not raise their hands in support.
Congressional Republicans blocked debate on the measure. They would not even allow Congress to discuss the tax cuts for small business and for working Americans that would have left more money in your pocket.
I believe as Americans find out that Republicans blocked a total of 20 jobs measures during a financial crisis, the GOP will face a backlash. Republicans sabotaged that tax cuts for small businesses in the American Jobs Act, and then went on business news channels saying that Obama was trying to raise taxes on small businesses. To accelerate jobs growth, Americans must vote Republicans out of Congress, because they block all jobs measures. The GOP's reckless refusal to compromise creates massive political uncertainty which damages job growth.
In conclusion, Real Clear Politics tracking polls show that President Obama is more trusted on the economy and almost every other important issue in the battleground states. And we can understand why, because the data shows one of the largest turnarounds in economic history with job growth initiating far more quickly than in any other modern economy financial crisis. We are about to pass peak level employment for the first time since a recession that was headed for a depression.
Rather than giving specifics, Romney's plans for the economy usually sound like, "We'll add more jobs, I know how to." But Obama has bills on the floor of Congress, ready to go, that could add more than a million jobs this year.
PolicyMic will be covering the presidential debate live tonight, to better evaluate Obama vs. Romney's responses on the economy and other issues. For real-time analysis and high quality coverage, see here.