The lack of movement in our monthly economic monitor even after a quarter of job growth underscores the urgency of progressives advancing an effective economic message. The current messages coming from President Obama and the national Democrats are demonstrably ineffective – indeed, out of sync with what is happening to people in the real economy. The message has voters looking backward instead of forward, fails to take full advantage of voters’ continuing contempt for Republicans and fails to offer voters a powerful contrast and choice. But there are powerful alternatives to the current approach, which would strengthen the case for progressives and individual candidates.
The urgency grows with the most recent economic monitor completed this week by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Citizen Opinion – after a quarter of monthly job growth and two months of accelerating gains. But the economic tracking this week indicates how remote that seems for those in the real economy. Belief the country is on the right track and perceptions of macro economic growth have not moved after a one-month shift. Voters remain deeply cautious, with their judgments affected by the country’s partisan polarization. There is no appreciable movement on the micro, personal economic indicators: unemployment, reduced hours and wages, lost health insurance, and foreclosures. As the new job claims indicates, this is very fragile at the individual level.