Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a disconnect between how bad the economy is performing and how comparatively well Obama is doing in the polls. If memory serves, the housing market is almost as important a driver as the unemployment rate when it comes to political discontent. And yet, according to the latest Pew poll, Obama’s doing pretty well. What explains it? I can think of several plausible, and not necessarily contradictory, theories (the more favorable media climate, the widespread sense in some quarters that Obama simply inherited a bad economy, etc.), but it does seem like conventional wisdom has been suspended — and not just in Obama’s favor. As Michael Barone (and yours truly) have been saying for a while, the economic crisis should have proven liberal historians and journalists right. Americans should have demanded a new New Deal. The Tea Parties don’t make sense according to the Arthur Schlesinger school of political thought.
One thing does seem clear to me: The GOP needs to be doing a better job at messaging on the economy. But that’s a conversation for another post.