The most recent Economist posed a question being pondered by many Washington insiders in regards to the Bush’s handling of the economy, “What explains the gap between the economic statistics and the polls?”
It’s answer, “Time is clearly a vital factor. Voters’ perceptions of economic improvements always lag actual economic shifts by many months (a fact that cost George Bush senior the 1992 election).”
Campaign Desk can understand a sluggish response from the voters, but not from campaign reporters in key battleground states, which is what we saw this morning when we checked in with the coverage of Kerry’s visit to Cincinnati yesterday.
And both newspapers let the Kerry camp spin fly without providing the facts. As, the Economist pointed out, “With 1.4m new jobs created since last August, more than half the 2.7m jobs lost on George Bush’s watch have now been recovered.”
By our own calculations, based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs lost since President Bush took office now stands at 1.2 million jobs — a number that shrinks each month, as hiring picks up.
This isn’t the first time the press has been caught reporting the Kerry spin on job numbers. Given this, it shouldn’t be shocking that the voter’s perception of the economy has been slow to keep up with the facts; they aren’t getting the facts.