The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.
The unemployment rate is considered to be one of the most important factors in presidential elections, so if the White House’s assessment holds, President Obama is in for one of the toughest reelection fights in memory.
When the “substantial” economic “turbulence” of the last two months are considered, the administration expects the economy to grow as little as 1.7 percent in 2011 compared to last year. That is down from a rosier projection of 2.7 percent growth, made in February.
The assessments on unemployment are contained in the administration’s midsession budget review, which is an update on the president’s February budget request.
With this downgrade, the president’s re-election prospects get downgraded as well. Now, fully 65% disapprove of his handling of the economy (begging the question, What’s going on in the heads of the other 35%?). There’s just about now way his jobs speech changes that, unless he announces that he is reversing course on everything he has done since taking office. And there’s no way he’s doing that.