March 8th, 2010
12:10 PM ET
8 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. Wisconsonite - It's Not Socialism, It's SANITY

    Sooooo this is only the Democrats problem???? Don't we have two political parties in Congress???? The Republicans just a slide because WHY????

    March 8, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Monkey wrench

    Sniffit March 8th, 2010 10:13 am ET

    I'm very glad this administration takes the time to visit the troops; unlike the former administration who were too busy vacationing nonstop.
    Oh come on, is that the best you got today? I think the last Administration did quite a bit of traveling to see the troops, I know you got something better than that, put on that little lib thinking hat, don't forget now the campaigner in Chief is flying around like the CEO's he beat up on in a big old jet, consuming tax dollars, destroying our climate, all to prop up a political disaster, so come on now, give me some HOPE you got some game left.

    March 8, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Victim of GOP Taliban

    It's naive to believe the worst recession since the 30's can fix itself so soon and that unemployment numbers can improve that fast. Especially since Bush/Cheney supporting tax breaks to replace American jobs with slave labor in Commie China and 3rd world nations.

    March 8, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Jim - Michigan

    What democrats truly need is to stop dreaming up new entitlement programs for the tax payer to fund. It is time to expect people receiving a handout to contribute.

    Tax payers are losing their homes because they cannot pay their taxes, let alone their mortage and why are these taxes so important you may ask? So that we can pay for housing for millions of people who will not work? How wrong is that? Take a tax payers home because he can no longer afford to pay the housing of non-tax payers?

    Where is the social justice in that?

    March 8, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Jim - Michigan

    The greed of unions sent jobs overseas. The greed of teacher unions in California is placing education out of reach for millions. Why si it that we will not call a spade a spade. Unions destroyed the steal industry, the automotive industry airline industry and our education system.

    Before some idiot reading this jumps to defend the unions do your reseach. When did any union mentioned here go into negotiations and not ask for more? Even when their wages were higher, 100% of their medical cost were being covered and their jobs assured – even when their industry was hurting, hemoraging? The answer is never. Greed controlled all contracts, they demanded more and more until their industry collapsed.

    As a consumer, American products became too expensive and their quality was below that of foreign competition, I am sorry but the truth is clear Unions destroyed our manufacturing base. If we want those jobs back we need to address the greed of unions. I wont buy American just because American workers produced it if the product cost more and is of crappy quality.

    March 8, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Waiting for the other shoe to drop

    I'm one of the unemployed that makes up the national unemployment rate of 10% and one of the unemployed that makes up the 12.7% unemployed rate in my state. I pay for my health care "out of pocket"
    and I am one of the millions with pre-existing conditions who must have health insurance; however, my health insurance company just got a rate increase of 7% so my premium will increase for the fourth time in 5 years, they were denied a rate increase last year. I must now come up with $660.00 a month or $7,920.00 a year. All of you complaining the president is fixated on health care reform must have nice "Cushy Jobs" that offer health care insurance which "COSTS" your employer and is one of the "BIGGEST" reasons unemployment is so high. Why should employers higher more workers which will "INCREASE" the "company's contributions" to health insurance premiums for their workers?? You can't create more jobs until you reduce the "COST" of employee "BENEFITS" i.e. "HEALTH CARE BENEFITS"!!!

    March 8, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. midwest liberal

    I certainly hope all these people screaming that President Obama is wrong on healthcare will pass on accepting its benefits when it passes.

    March 8, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. surveyman

    "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."

    HELLO! Do you remember what Obama campaigned on? Do you remember his rhetoric when he was trying to get the stimulus passed? If he was right about how bad the economy was then, how can the Republicans be wrong about how bad it is now, because it certainly hasn't gotten any better. The economy is every bit as bad, or worse, than when McCain said, "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" but yet you want to rip the Republicans for saying how bad it is?

    March 8, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    "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."

    It's Carnell – Carnell from the Motor City! Only Carnell capitalizes every word in the sentence.

    How you doing Carnell... and why the name change?

    March 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Ken in NC Deputy Managing Editor Rich Barbieri has it all wrong. Democrats don't need a big drop in the jobless rate. Americans need it. When we get a big drop then we will decide who to vote for. Right now most people would willingly vote all of Congress and the Senate out of office and replace them with all new people.

    Republicans are fighting every move by this administration to do anything to aid the recovery of our economy. They are fighting this administration's efforts because they would not fair well if a Democratic administration was in power when the economy turns around. If they can hold of a recovery until election time they can campaign claiming that Democrats have not done anything to spur growth in our economy. Problem is that our economy has already started to turn around. It is slow because they are fighting it. What they fail to see is that the American people don't care about them anymore than they care about us. At election time we will vote many of them out of office along with Democrats too and those that remain will feel they can do what they want and we will be right back in the same boat we found ourselves in back in late 2008.

    All of them need to start to work for us and not for Big Business.

    March 8, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. sameolebluedog

    I disagree....Most of the unemployed in this country are either contractors, mortgage shysters, or union members. Contractors and mortgage shysters are strongly conservative and didn't vote for President Obama to start with. Union members tend to be mostly Democratic, and will stay that way, remembering that it was conservatives that mucked everthing up to start with. I just read in Knoxville, TN that they're having trouble filling census jobs. Need a job..? The problem is that from 2000 to 2008 nobody wanted to work and overcharged people for poor service and all goods were made in China. Well, it's time to get dirty and get back to work and provide quality goods and services for a fair price. The party is over. If you want to call that socialism, then sign me up. If capitalism means ripping people off and turning the USA into junk, then how's that workin' for ya'..? Speaking of, how 'bout them teabaggers. They blow hard, but don't show up to vote, and the GOP moderates tied their wagons to them on health care and now have to go down with the ship. You have to remember, the election process is run by local GOVERNMENTS. So are elections socialist, too..? The most meaningful legislation since the civil rights act and the Republicans were the obstructionists. Genius move by the White House and November may be even uglier for the GOP than 2008.

    March 8, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  12. Pragmatic

    It's not Democrats or republicans who need a drop in unemployment- its Americans!

    Stop the politics – stop the "one party must wins – the other party must lose" Note: soooo many people posting find it soooo much easier to complain that to run for political office and solve the problems!

    March 8, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. jp,michigan

    Stimulus bill was another sham, said Sam I am. Provided jobs for one year , then ran out of money in my state of Michigan. All those policemen, firemen and teachers are now facing lay offs. Placing a higher burden on the police officers, fire fights and teachers who remain. This Obama administration is a joke, the fabricate numbers to make themselves look good. The health care bill is also a joke, if people had jobs they would have health care. So why is the President more concerned about health care then establishing permanent jobs!

    March 8, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. The Calabash Kid

    Good old Goldwater capitalism has morphed into Corporatism: government of global corporations, by global corporations, and for global corporations. Our employers have been laying our friends and neighbors off, telling the rest of us to pick up the slack or we'd get pink slips too, so the organization would survive the downturn. So we buckled down and pushed our 50 hour weeks to 65 hours and told our complaining spouses and kids to shut up and let us work.

    Now our employers see no reason to add new employees as business picks up. They have learned that we will neglect our families, forget about raises, and not even think about bonuses just to keep our jobs.

    Corporations hate their employees because they are the biggest cost. Corporations adore consumers and want them to spend every dime. Corporations cannot adjust to the fact that consumers and employees are the same people.

    This is not Capitalism. This is Corporatism.

    March 8, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Squigman

    Yes the Dem's need a big drop in unemployment. Now explain to every person reading this why Republicans, can create a problem so big, then have the idea that it should all be contained, or better yet cleared up in a period of less than 18 months, without being taken to task by the media? Knowledgable economist from many higher halls of learning would appreciate an answer to this.

    P.S. Keep the politics out of the equation when answering the above. This might bring about a fix that's long lasting, and not considered and aberation to be lived through every decade or so.

    March 8, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Bill

    Anybody with a good high school education knows that the Pres. of the US doesn't run the US economy. Influence, yes but drive it, no.

    March 8, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. JonDie

    "Political analyst: Dems need big plunge in jobless rate..."

    Which means Repubicans will do and say everything they can to hurt our country. That's the Republican way.

    March 8, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Dar

    The Dems have thrown everything that they could steel away from us into this huge hole that they have dug for themselfs and still can't get out. Its to deep and we the people are drowning because of their actions.
    Congress should have stood up tp Odumbo last year and said the people need jobs and thats what we are going to work on this year sir.
    But Odumbo knows better than all of congress and told them to work on the HC Bill that we all need and then the rest of our problems will be solved.
    A half of a year in the senate and Odumbo knows how to run a country in trouble. Complete and stupid morons put this man into office. Well this November we the smarter people will fix that for you so you can go back to work little kool aid sippers.
    Dont worry, a Republican can and will come to your aid as we always have. You may be a stupid Dem, but we still love you, you just made a mistake, it happens.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    March 8, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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