Flap’s Links and Comments for April 14th on 06:00

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 14th from 06:00 to 06:04:

  • The Uneven Senate Landscape of 2012 (and 2014) – Republican won 24 of the 37 Senate contests last year, giving them a head start not only on winning a Senate majority in 2012 but possibly winning a 60-seat supermajority two years later.

    They will need to net 26 or 27 of the remaining 67 contests over the next two cycles to win a majority in 2014, or 36 of the next 67 to get to 60 seats during the next midterm elections.

    The Senate is always a different kind of numbers game than the House. With unbalanced classes, Senate control — to say nothing about a filibuster-proof majority — hinges on which party has more seats up for election in a particular election cycle.

    When one of the political parties has a huge election night, as Republicans did last year, it automatically gives that party an opportunity to take over the Senate, whether two years later or four.

    The 2012 Senate class includes 23 Democrats and only 10 Republicans, and the stunning imbalance means that Democrats will be on the defensive throughout the cycle unless the political environment shifts dramatically to their party.

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    Read all of Stuart Rothenberg's analysis.

    The chances of GOP gains in the Senate in 2012 and 2014 look good.

  • Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise; Inflation Pressure Grows – New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, bouncing back above the key 400,000 level, while core producer prices clumbed faster than expected in March, government reports showed on Thursday.

    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 412,000, the Labor Department said.

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    Obamanomics is a failure – just like Jimmy Carter.

    A slow economy with high unemployment and inflation.

Poll Watch: The Best and Worst Job Markets in 2010 – Nevada and California some of the Worst

Posted Posted in Polling, President 2012, Unemployment Rate

I am not surprised especially with regard to Nevada and California being poor job markets, according to the latest Gallup Poll.
More than half of the 10 best job markets in 2010 were in energy- and commodity-producing states. Most of the 10 states with the worst job markets consisted of finance states of the Northeast and the housing-depressed states of the West.

Having a significant presence of natural resource-based industries was a distinct job-creation advantage for states such as North Dakota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas. These were among the top 10 job markets in 2010, as they were in 2008 and 2009. Also among the top 10 in 2010 were Alaska — another energy state — and Washington, D.C., and Maryland, both of which benefit from having a large percentage of federal government workers. Mostly farm commodity states — including Arkansas, South Dakota, Iowa, and Pennsylvania — fill out the top 10.

What about improvement between 2009 and 2010?

States showing the most improvement in job market conditions between 2009 and 2010 included the long-depressed manufacturing states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — likely reflecting the significant improvement in U.S. manufacturing last year. Also among the most improved were 5 of the 10 states with the worst job markets in 2009, giving them the most room to improve: Oregon, Delaware, Arizona, Minnesota, along with Michigan. Reflecting the growth of the federal government, the District of Columbia was not only the second-best job market but also the second-most improved job market in 2010.

Eight of the states showing the least improvement last year were in the 10 best job markets in 2009, including New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia. Also among those showing the least improvement are several states in the Northeast — New Jersey, Vermont, and New York — and two smaller states in the West, Montana and Wyoming.

So, what does this mean politically?

It is noted that only two key battleground state in the Electoral College are listed – Nevada and Virginia. The other states are either very blue or very red which means these states in the extreme job markets will be ignored during the race for 2012.

Nevada’s unemployment rate, plus President Obama’s comments about Las Vegas may play well there for the GOP nominee but demographic changes (more Hispanic and union, Clark County voters) if they show up and vote may be too much to overcome.

Virginia is a state where the GOP will need to perform well if they wish to beat President Obama.

The GOP nominee will concentrate their campaign in other states which have poor unemployment numbers.

Gallup’s job creation index and job market conditions portend more of the same for 2011.

Gallup’s Job Creation Index averaged +7 nationwide during 2010, with 28% of employees reporting their companies were hiring and 21% saying their companies were letting people go. Regionally, job market creation was best in the Midwest and South but lagged behind in the East and West.

Looking ahead, it seems likely that the overall pattern of state job market conditions across the nation in 2011 will remain similar to those of the past three years. Energy prices are surging and gas is now $3.29 a gallon nationwide, compared with $2.69 a year ago. High oil prices tend to improve hiring activity in energy-producing states. Similarly, high commodity prices should help job conditions in the farm and mining states.

On the other hand, the housing market continues to suffer. This suggests that states with the worst housing conditions will continue to see relatively difficult job market conditions for some time.

Of course, it is possible that state and federal budget cutbacks could hurt job market conditions in some states more than others, particularly those having the worst budget problems, such as California, New York, and Illinois. Or, federal budget cuts could hurt states with a large number of federal government employees. Alternatively, U.S. manufacturing and exports could continue to increase, providing more jobs in industrial states.

All in all, not a good poll about jobs for the incumbent President and Democratic U.S. Senate incumbents going into election 2012.

Gallup: U.S. Unemployment Up Slightly to 9.8% in January

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Barack Obama, Unemployment Rate

This will not help President Obama as he prepares to run for re-election.
Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 9.8% at the end of January — up from 9.6% at the end of December, but down from 10.9% a year ago.

Some political pundits maintain that if the unemployment rate does not decrease to below 8% that Obama will NOT win re-election. So far, economic conditions do not look favorable for him.

Comparing Gallup’s unemployment and underemployment rates so far in 2011 with those for the same periods in 2010 provides something of a seasonally adjusted view of Gallup’s jobs data. Unemployment and underemployment are now at least one point below the rates of a year ago, reflecting modest improvement over the past year.

Still, Gallup’s measures paint a real-time picture of the current job realities on the ground: nearly 1 in 10 Americans in the U.S. workforce are unemployed, nearly one out of five are underemployed, and the nation’s overall hiring situation has not improved over the past four to six months.