This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Election Has Never Been About Jobs

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The election was never really about jobs.

Though the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.8% in September -- the first rate below 8% since January 2009 -- it didn't fundamentally signal a change in the sluggish downward trend.

"If you look at the trend of the overall employment picture, this kind of fits in with modestly improving jobs picture," said Brad Sorensen, market and sector research director at Charles Schwab. "We don't think we'll be dropping three-tenths of a percent in the unemployment rate for the next several months."

Throughout 2012, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have said this election is about jobs and getting Americans back to work. Even back in December 2011, before the Republican primaries began, a major Obama backer said the incumbent should be focused on unemployment.

"The number that a Democrat incumbent needs to be the most focused on is the unemployment number," Billy Vassiliadis, CEO of R&R Partners, said in a previous interview. "If this number gets to 12, 13, 14, 15 ... or even if it begins to head north again, and I mean not a 0.01%, but it literally goes up one or two points, I think that is going to be real problematic. The president's re-election chances are going to be enhanced or diminished by the next 10 months of looking for some economic hope."

Well, we've hit that tenth month, and the unemployment rate sits just a tab below 8%. Last December, the rate was 8.5%, so it's come down just seven-tenths of a percentage point over that span. The trend has been to move incrementally lower month-to-month; although there were slight upticks from March to April and June to July.

The thing is the polls don't suggest the unemployment rate was previously dictating Obama's fate in the election, so it's worth cautioning against assuming it will do so now.

An average of general election polls collected by RealClearPolitics show Obama up 49.3% to 46.1% against Romney. Gallup's latest poll, released Friday, showed Obama up by five percentage points. Though this isn't a runaway lead, it's a fairly stable margin.

In Ohio, the president holds a three-percentage-point average lead against his Republican opponent. Many political consultants contend that Ohio is the pivotal battle ground state that Romney must attain if he has any hope for victory. Obama holds similar comfortable leads in Iowa, Nevada and Colorado.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,079.57 -42.44 -0.25%
S&P 500 1,996.74 -3.38 -0.17%
NASDAQ 4,557.6950 -11.9260 -0.26%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs