Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

November 28, 2008 11:59 AM

Wrapping Up 2008

65% of Americans are confident in Barack Obama's ability to be a good President. This includes 89% of Democrats, 64% of Independents, and 28% of Republicans. In each of these categories those between the ages of 18-34 are more positive than other age groups. For example, 42% of Republicans in this age group are confident in his ability to do the job.

61% of consumers consider current economic conditions to be poor. And 80% say conditions are getting worse.

Only 12% think that now is a good time to get a quality job. 86% say it is a bad time. [Gallup 11/25,20,24]

Consumer confidence is at the lowest it has been in the 22 years of the weekly ABC News Consumer Index. It currently has settled at a -52.

  • 68% plan to wait for holiday sales
  • 51% plan to spend less this year than last (most depressed number since 1991)
  • 2% rate economy as excellent; 60% rate it poor
  • 43% say personal finances are excellent/good
  • 57% not good/poor
  • 21% say this is an excellent/good time buy things
  • 79% not good/poor
[ABC News 11/08]

Consumer spending fell 1% in October, the largest one-month drop since 9/11/01. Jobless claims rose to an adjusted 542,000 last week, the highest since 1992, and the 4 week average was 506,500, the highest in 25 years. [Keep in mind that comparisons to previous years are leavened by the fact that the relevant population was lower in those previous years.]

President-elect Obama says he intends to change the way Washington works. Whichever way Washington works, it has worked this way for a long time. Obama may find that it makes sense to use the way Washington works (in the best sense of that phrase) to achieve the goals which he has described to the American people.

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