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Don't write off re-election of Obama just yet

Business Times - 16 Nov 2011


Don't write off re-election of Obama just yet

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

AT around this time next year, we are going to find out whether or not US President Barack Obama is going to occupy the White House for another four years. Many political experts and historians have almost written him off, pointing out that no incumbent US president won re-elected since 1945 with an unemployment rate of over 7 per cent. If the unemployment rate continues to hover around 9 per cent in 2012, Mr Obama's chances of winning a second term are under 50 per cent.

In fact, in the case of the seven successful re-election bids, the national unemployment rate averaged 5.17 per cent. Only once since 1948 had an incumbent president - Ronald Reagan - been re-elected when the national unemployment rate was over 5.5 per cent. Interestingly enough, not unlike Mr Obama, Reagan's first two years in office were dominated by a stream of bad economic news, with the natio…