And now we have him betting the farm on Obama winning a second term. Why would the President win a second term with unemployment basically double from the day he was elected?
Well.... because, that's why.
The past doesn’t repeat itself; but to the extent that it hints at rather than reveals the future, the relevant signs suggest that Barack Obama is in a more advantageous position than Ronald Reagan was. In Gallup’s June 1983 numbers, Reagan’s approval was 43 percent; in late May and early June, Obama was five to eight points higher. And of the two presidents in the last four decades who had the highest approval ratings this far out from the election, the first Bush was trounced and the second Bush barely squeaked by. The presidents with middling ratings — Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton — ultimately triumphed; Dole was ahead of Clinton in June of 1995.
Such history doesn’t mandate an Obama victory. But there are other signs which suggest his comparative strength. In the Gallup numbers, Reagan was losing to both Walter Mondale and John Glenn in the spring of 1983. Obama, in most polls, defeats every Republican including Romney. A tie or narrow race in a survey like The Washington Post/ABC’s may signal not the start of a trend, but this president’s staying power even in a period of bad news. Moreover, a variety of polls register Obama leads in critical swing states including Ohio and, more surprisingly, North Carolina.
Shrum is missing a lot of the bigger trends and appears to assume that unemployment will fall. No wonder he's been semi-exiled to Italy.