Hat tip: Ace of Spades.
The U.S. growth rate slowed in 1Q 2012 to 2.2%. Here's how the New York Times reported it, putting as much liberal-bias spin on it as they could muster and still remain marginally credible:
The economic output of the United States grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, easing from the prior quarter’s growth rate of 3 percent but maintaining what many economists have started to call a “sustainable” pace of recovery.
Really? Let's put that in perspective. Here is the GDP growth rate in the first quarter of 1984, 1992, 1996, and 2004, the re-election years for Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush:
8.0% (1984 - Reagan re-elected)
4.4% (1992 - Bush I not re-elected)
2.8% (1996 - Clinton re-elected)
2.7% (2004 - Bush II re-elected)
Reagan was presiding over a real boom after a long and deep recession, wholly attributable to his tax-cutting policies, and he was re-elected in a landslide. Bush I was coming off a recession and a few quarters of very slow growth (under 2%), so the electorate (with the help of the MSM) didn't register his recovery and credit how robust it would become). Yet he probably would have won, but for Ross Perot's third-party candidacy. Clinton's growth rate in 2Q 1996 was over 7%, and he was re-elected against a very week candidate, Bob Dole, by a very significant margin. Bush II was still in some of the after-glow of 9/11 and ran against a very week candidate, John Kerry, and growth beginning in 2Q 2003 after the Iraq War triumph had been very strong for three quarters, so people had the perception that the economy was moving in the right direction.
I don't think people have a positive perception that the economy is moving in the right direction, and there is no tangible evidence in employment or income statistics suggesting that Obama's economic performance has meant anything good to average Americans. I think most Americans see slow growth and they tie it to his policies: pro-government, pro-taxes, anti-business, anti-energy development, pro-union, especially public employee unions, pro-environmental regulations, all of which translates into Obama as the anti-job President.
In short, he's ripe for the picking.