March 8th, 2010
12:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Political analyst: Dems need big plunge in jobless rate

Arlington, Virginia (CNN) – For congressional Democrats, the not-at-all-secret password this year is … jobs. They want to convince voters that they are working tirelessly to create them and thus regain some of the political momentum they have lost.

But the employment hole is deep. Can Democrats climb out of it by November?

Electoral odds maker Charlie Cook on Monday gave a grim assessment of their chances.

The unemployment rate, currently 9.7 percent, would have to fall about 1 percentage point by November for Democrats to proclaim "mission accomplished," he said. Cook, who runs the non-partisan Cook Political Report, spoke at the annual policy conference of the National Association for Business Economics, a leading group of professional economy watchers.

Even a continuation of the year-long stock market rally wouldn't help the Democrats much.

"The market could go up substantially and I don't think it's likely to change the outcome," Cook said. "In terms of politics, [voters] are really only aware of unemployment."

The big problem for Democrats: The odds of a noticeable improvement in unemployment are long. Many economists expect the jobless rate to hover near 10 percent through the rest of the year.

In fact, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf, who spoke at the conference after Cook, said the rate will likely average near 10 percent this year. It will be 2012, he said, before it gets down to about 8 percent.


Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • Economy • Jobs
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    And their idiot president is once again concentrating on the socialist takeover of health care rather than jobs. He thought giving a $1 trillion to the teachers union and SEIU would take care of all the jobs, unfortunately, unions don't create jobs, they steal money from those that would.

    March 8, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. gt

    all americans should be hoping for a hugh increase in jobs... every one should have a opportuning to work .... its a sad day for this country if one party or the other wish this kind of grief of not haveing a job for the countrymen...

    March 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Never going to happen. We've transitioned to a transaction-based economy where nothing of real value is produced. A relatively small elite who handle these transactions gets rich. The rest of us, not so much. But at least some 10 year old kid on the other side of the world can get a dollar a day to sew our sneakers together. So there are jobs after all. Thanks, global capitalism. Have a nice day!

    P.S. Ayn Rand was an idiot.

    March 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. MsDp

    CORRECTIONS; The DEMs and the GOPs need HUGE plunge in jobless rate. All congressional officials are responsible for getting the employment rate UP AND getting the unemployment rate DOWN!!! So get to work congress, get to work!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Hey we are not only blaming Democrats but Republicans as well, both were in power that bailed out Wall Street, banking, AIG and GM. Sure Corporate America is doing just fine now with trillions of tax dollars. But this was done very fast and with a very big promise that we need to save Wall Street to save main street. Now we are being told that the jobs main street needs are now are 10 or 20 years away.
    Please this fall do not be fooled again my the two major parties who refuse to represent the people before the Corporations.
    Vote Congress out, “you are fired” if they are in. Vote them out this fall no matter what party they belong to, and in the next election and every election going forward until they become the servants of the people once more.

    March 8, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    The money from the stimulus was sent to the STATES to create jobs and a lot of them used it to balance their budget instead.

    How are the Dems at fault for that? A lot of the states with deficits are run by republican governors and/or legislators.

    Get real, folks. THINK

    March 8, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. worriedmom

    Democrats have not been concerned this past year with jobs. All they have thought of is spend, spend, spend and their own agendas regardless of how most Americans feel. They sold their souls to Power and the Chosen One!!

    Now they are paying a price...... You would have thought they would have learned from the Republicans paying the price!!

    March 8, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    You must actually work on the jobs problem, to achieve any success with it. So far, the Dems have done very little to impact that problem.

    March 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It could happen. I don't think that it will fall far enough as of the elections in November. Besides, it isn't complete the government's fault that it happend. Nor is it the government's responsibility to get people back to work - Wait, that is the Republican thinking.

    March 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. James Miller

    Hey !!!!! --- This has been brewing for several years and with manufacturers steadily moving overseas. It will be a slow recovery. Give Obama time. Ours and the world`s economy is much more fragile than you think.

    March 8, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. silence dogoode

    That's because they don't really care about jobs....NAFTA was signed by Clinton...and they are too busy spending money on healthcare....

    March 8, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. get real

    I'm so sick of everything being about the next election. We elected our senators, representative, and the president to do what is right for us, not to do what is right for their party. This is something the Republicans don't understand. Their constant campaign to try to tell us everything is going to hell isn't helping us. The economy is improving. I work in recruiting, and I see the difference first hand. Last spring was frightening and horrible. This year is so much better. You can try to tell me something, but I see with my own eyes that the recovery is underway. As Americans we should all be happy about this.

    March 8, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Jon In Madison

    Even if it went down a full percent, Obama told us that his stumulus package would make it to where unemployment would not go above 8 percent. At 8.7 percent, it would strill be higher than it was ever supposed to go. You can't blame that lie on Bush, that was straight from the mouth of Obama. Down with the current administration. 2012 is too far away. Impeach this creep on the grounds of treason. Get him out.

    March 8, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Hammerer

    A big plunge in jobless rate? That should not be to hard for this group. The Labor Dept. dropped the number by 1% point last month simply by changing the numbers and there is no reason that they can not do that again. While the number of people has increased every month a small adjustment in a few figures will give the desired results. That is the Washington way.

    March 8, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Obama Victim

    hard to convince voters they are working on jobs when all The Messiah talks about is a health care bill the country does not want......un-employment will stay up, the economy will struggle...and by the way,gas is going up...and the Dems get hammerd in Nov

    March 8, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Dano

    When that happens Republicans will somehow credit the turnaround to Ronald Reagan.

    March 8, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. kpAT

    The Dems are killing themselves with this healthcare thing,... Talk about not seeing the forrest through the trees! On the other side of that forrest is an angry mob that is licking it's chops for November...It's about "Jobs" stupid! For all of the education that the supposedly enlightened Dumocrats are supposed to have, they really aren't showing any of it.

    March 8, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. File under "Sarcasm"

    Yeah, it doesn't help when Obama's promised focus on jobs, jobs, jobs turns out to be healthcare, healthcare, healthcare. All he can do there is give more speeches blast the insurance industry as the root of all evil.

    Nobody wants to hear the word "socialist", but what else do you call a man whose cause for every problem is greedy capitalism and big business; a man whose first solution is always government control and takeover; a man who advocates wealth redistribution; a man who cuts back room deals with unions to buy their continuing support; a man who ignores the polls that says the people don't want his economy killing programs? He makes Hugo Chavez look like an amateur.

    March 8, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Health Reform Now

    Pass healthcare and they'll have nothing to worry about. Democratic senators are thos ones in trouble.

    March 8, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. kpAT

    What's that old saying about "When you are in a hole,..... stop digging". I'll say one thing for the Dumocrats,... they never quit on a terrible idea.

    March 8, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. HypocriCNN = B.S.

    Quite Frankly, Some Democrats Are Both Too Selfish And Undisiplined Right Now To Do Anything Right. Health Care Legislation Should Already Be Done, But Because You Have The Grandstanding Hot Dogging Of A Few Like Bart "Stupid-Assed" Stupek D-Michigan, Ben Nelson (Operation Cornhusker Conjob) D-Nebraska, And Mary Landrieu (Ms. Non-Congeniality/Ms. Louisiana Purchase Version 2010) D-Louisiana.

    March 8, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Obama Victim March 8th, 2010 12:34 pm ET

    "hard to convince voters they are working on jobs when all The Messiah talks about is a health care bill the country does not want......un-employment will stay up, the economy will struggle...and by the way,gas is going up...and the Dems get hammerd in Nov"

    Actually, the majority of the public wants a public option, do a little research on the poll numbers. The reason why many don't support healthcare reform as it exists now, is that it contains no real reform. As for government takeover, the "free market" has done such a swell job of providing healthcare. Keep your greedy capitalism out of my healthcare. We'll get single-payer eventually. The greedy boomers will see to that after their sheer numbers collapse the current system. Have a nice day!

    P.S Ayn Rand was a second rate romance novelist!

    March 8, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. stop the nonsense

    It Ain't happening folks and be thankful!
    A major rise in employment figures can only happen if we return to our old habits and that's not good for our country or economy.
    We were told to stop our old ways of spending and living beyond our means and that that alone would eventually get us back on track. We're doing it.
    If buying a house thats too big, a car that's too expensive or clothes and othe rproducts we don't need are the only thing that will get us the old jobs back, we've learned nothing.
    It will take time. It will take a step backwards, but in the end, we will all be betteroff.

    March 8, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Reggie from LA

    Why do they need "plunging numbers"? Dems are not responsible for joblessness...at least not directly. Economic atrocity and lack of confidence caused/cause joblesness. did the Dems do that?

    March 8, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Jim

    "And their idiot president is once again concentrating on the socialist takeover of health care rather than jobs. He thought giving a $1 trillion to the teachers union and SEIU would take care of all the jobs, unfortunately, unions don't create jobs, they steal money from those that would."

    -----------------------------
    Do yo even know what you are talking about??? Much of the stimulus went to the states, a lot went to the unemploued through extension of COBRA and tax reductions, and some went to the working class as tax cuts.

    Do you really think anyone gave $1t to unions? Please do some research before psoting such nonsense.

    March 8, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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