Barack Obama: A Clearer Re-election Path is Unfolding
By Paul Okechukwu Oranika
While the re-election chances for President Barack Obama is not a slam dunk as yet, the chances and outlook for the re-election of the President continues to improve by the day, thanks to the recent gains and improving US Economy. Most presidential election analysts agree that the only strong issue for Republicans to challenge President Obama in the upcoming November election is the issue of the economy.
While problems remain with respect to the U.S economic recovery, many indicators show that the US economy is improving, a review of key economic indicators would help to highlight the point made here.
Non-farm Labor Productivity has increased to an annual rate of 0.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to a growth of 0.3 percent during the fourth quarter of 2010. According to the February 17, 2012 data released by the Labor Bureau, there is an increase in Consumer Price Index for January 2012, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the index rose to 0.2 percent versus 0.1 percent recorded in Dec, 2011.
On the situation of employment, Non-farm Payroll Employment increased by 243,000 in January 2012, and Unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Producer Price Index released on February 16, 2012, also showed that the Producer Price Index for finished products, increased by 0.1 percent in January compared to a decline of 0.1 percent for December 2011.
Durable goods orders for February 2012 advanced as well as the Consumer Sentiments. Although Housing Stock still remains high, there are modest increases in Housing prices. Meanwhile interest rates remains at its low rate of 0.25% according to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Open Market Committee, both units make decisions on the U.S interest rate Benchmark. From these data it is obvious that the U.S. economy is on the rebound, and may improve a lot more in time for the U.S. Presidential election in November.
[CLICK HERE for the historical U.S Interest rate Chart courtesy of the U.S.Federal Reserve]
Meanwhile Romney the likely Republican nominee is still having problems demonstrating his electability in November. He managed to defeat Rick Santorum in key states of Michigan and Ohio, but failed to deliver a knockout punch to his opponents Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in Tuesdays Super Tuesday primaries across the country. Romney is having problems convincing Conservatives and Tea Party elements of the Republican Party as well as religious conservatives. His failure to win decisively in Michigan where he was born and his father was a popular Governor of the state, also demonstrates fundamental problems in Romney’s appeal. Michigan voters are unhappy with Romney’s position against the Obama auto bailout plan. Romney however achieved major victories in Massachusetts his home state, Virginia, Arizona and others. Currently he has won about 14 states, but is having difficulties winning in the South where Gingrich and Santorum continue to pull their weight. Romney has won about half of the 1144 delegates needed for nomination at the Republican Convention in Tampa Florida later this summer.
Although Romney won Arizona, he may not take all the delegates from the state, other republican candidates could challenge the Arizona winner-takes-all procedure for awarding electoral candidates since the election occurred before April 1st, a violation of Republican Party rules.
Part of the lackluster performance of Romney in Michigan is tied to his position against the Obama bail-out-policy for the US Auto industry, a factor which has revitalized the US Auto industry and helped the economies of states such as Michigan with significant auto-manufacturing infrastructure. The U.S auto manufacturers have added over 200,000 new jobs since their recovery, a factor which bodes well for President Obama. The democratic president would have to win states such as Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin for a victory in the fall election. These states have significant manufacturing companies and large scale Union presence. Recall that Wisconsin is one of the states with anti-Union stance, and there is an ongoing petition to recall Governor Scott Walker by Wisconsin citizens.
President Obama has done very well in foreign policy arena, he wrapped up the Republican initiated Iraqi war and has withdrawn US troops from Iraq, and a timetable for withdrawal has been set for Afghanistan. President Obama scored a major victory with the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and other key Al-Qaida leaders the only prominent Al-Qaida leader still standing tall is the second in command, the Egyptian born Ayman Al Ziwahiri. The president deserves credit for supporting pro-democracy movements in the Middle Eastern Arab-Spring uprising which eliminated dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Efforts of the United Nations to assist Syrian freedom movement have been hampered by Russia and China.
Meanwhile the Republican presidential candidates, Romney, Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are drawn out in a long primary campaign, which has financial consequences on the nominees fall election war chest. The candidates continue to provide President Obama’s re-election campaign with more ammunition to go against the Republican nominee in the fall. If things continue to advance on the current trajectory, one can reasonably conclude that the chance for re-election of President Obama has drastically improved.
Paul Okechukwu Oranika is the Author of a new Stock Market Trading book, includes Nigerian Stock Market email Oranika@yahoo.com for your signed copy