The Campaign Spot

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

A Plurality Think the Last Jobs Report Was ‘Mixed’ News?


This polling result, spotlighted by Allahpundit, is pretty amazing:

One more data set for you on jobs, which might help explain why Obama and Romney are neck and neck on who’ll do better to create them. This comes from Gallup. Never forget, my friends: There are an awful lot of low-information voters out there.

Column three is the killer, of course. Overall, a plurality actually rates last Friday’s jobs-report stinkbomb as having been “mixed,” “somewhat positive,” or “very positive”(!) (40 percent, seven percent, and two percent, respectively). Just 42 percent say it was either somewhat or very negative. I don’t know how to explain that except to speculate that a huge chunk of voters simply have no idea of what constitutes healthy job growth. They hear that 60,000 jobs have been created and they think “hey, great” without paying close enough attention to know that that’s far below what we need to bring down unemployment. I think that’ll change later this year as people start focusing more on political news in anticipation of election day, but who knows? Maybe The One will surf to victory on a wave of idiots who think 50,000 jobs a month is pretty goshdarned impressive.

A couple of points: One, there are probably a considerable amount of people who when asked by a pollster if they follow a topic closely, instinctively say “yes,” because they don’t want to admit that they’re not paying attention to current events.

Two, some folks are hardcore partisans, and will insist that bad news under their guy is really good news. That’s how I would score a portion of the 9 percent who claim to follow the news closely and insist the report was positive.

But yes, there are a lot of voters out there who aren’t really up to speed on what “good” job creation looks like.

Tags: Jobs , Unemployment


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