The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Oh, That Smell? That’s the New Housing Numbers Getting Baked in the Cake.


I concur with this reader’s assessment of the morning’s economic news, and the political ramifications . . .

Absolutely horrible existing home sales figure for July — down 27 percent from June. Existing home inventory supply is now more than 12 months . . .

A lot of middle- to high-income areas — traditionally GOP suburbs — voted for the Democrats in 2008 because of the plummeting home prices. I’d bet my life on that these areas will go Republican this year after the disaster with home sales and prices. I’ll bet there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse . . . These folks tended to vote Republican to start with, but they flirted with Obama and the Democrats in 2008 because of the housing bust. Now many of these folks feel they have been had, and they don’t see the improvement in home values but they do see higher taxes, more regulations, more deficits, etc.

The die has cast for the Democrats this fall. There is no time left for the markets to see better numbers . . . Hard to see job numbers doing better, home numbers won’t do better. . . . Time has run out for the Democrats. No amount of ad dollars can convince the voters that the economy is better than they feel . . . the 500,000 new claims for unemployment and today’s existing home sales number should put this whole recovery summer nonsense into the trash bin.

I would note that even when we see disappointing unemployment numbers coming out each month, President Obama usually points to a marginal increase in the number of private-sector jobs and insists this means “we’re moving in the right direction.” Technically, yes, it’s better to add private-sector jobs than to lose them. But when 14.6 million Americans are unemployed and overall employment is dropping, it’s hard to get that excited about 71,000 jobs being created in a month.

With 500,000 new jobless claims in a month, you have to wonder if we’re going to see a month where we lose private-sector jobs overall. And once that happens, what will Obama say? How will he justify his tired, implausible mantra of “we’re moving in the right direction”?

Tags: Barack Obama


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