One of the best parts of being a political prognosticator is finding ways to back-track on predictions that you made with absolute certainty months and sometimes only weeks ago. Remember when Newt Gingrich was dead in the water? Analysts backtracked on that one so fast they’ll need new heels before the Iowa Caucuses. With that in mind – in the rare instance where you’re actually right in a prediction this early in the game – it is definitely worth crowing about.
So…Ahem…you know what’s coming.
A month ago I predicted that we would see a significant change in Obama’s approval numbers in the days and weeks after Thanksgiving. Why? Because Thanksgiving is America’s annual focus group. More than any other holiday at Thanksgiving, families get together, swap stories and get a better assessment of how the nation and the economy are going. Right before the Holiday I wrote at Politic365:
If you hear during Thanksgiving dinner how most of the family’s college kids actually have good job prospects this spring, then you’re going to have a much better view of the sitting president. If half the family couldn’t make it to Thanksgiving because your cousin still hasn’t found a job in the last 9 months, then you think the economy is still lousy. People don’t care about polls: they care about how their families are doing. What’s a 9% unemployment rate to you when everyone around the turkey table is gainfully employed or has been re-hired recently?
At the time it was apparent the economy was getting a little better, it was just going to take a few weeks for the information to sink in. And now it has. Reports have come out today showing that Obama has hit almost 50% approval in some polls and have come back to respectable levels after looking like the political walking dead just 3 months ago.
Simply put: People are getting back to work. They talked about it over turkey, took that news home and now they’re moving the needle in their community bases.
Now this by no means puts Obama in the safe zone for re-election – but it certainly speaks to his improved chances and of course my predictive prowess. The great thing about this is that it should totally make up for my Obama vs. Pawlenty in 2012 predictions I was making earlier this year.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.