Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Unemployment Rate Changes Romney’s Rhetoric

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September’s jobless rate fell to 7.8%. While still not ideal for the Obama campaign, this figure has forced Romney to alter how he attacks the President’s management of the economy.

Romney has touted the statistic of living with “43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent” under the Obama administration in many of his speeches. Unfortunately for the GOP ringleader, September broke that streak. Instead, Romney turns to belittling the improvement and flipping the argument that the unemployment rate is so low now because people have just quit looking for work. 

No matter the conditions that prompted this decrease in unemployment, the Obama campaign will flaunt it and the Romney campaign will discount it.  The U.S. Department of Labor shows the rate as the lowest since January 2009—the month of Obama’s inauguration. The jobless rate has swollen under Obama, a point widely publicized by conservatives.  However, the jobless rate in certain states including North Carolina soar well over 9%, undoubtedly affecting important swing voters.

While Romney has lost his statistic used to shock the audience into disapproval, I predict the 7.8% jobless rate will hardly affect how his rhetoric impacts voters nationally. The decrease simply is not significant enough to change voters’ minds—Romney can still scorn the struggling economy all he wants and Obama will keep defending his performance that slow and steady will win the race.  There is one more month to go–we’ll have to find out if it does.

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