The Los Angeles Times looks at today’s incrementally better jobs report:
For partisans on either side looking for a knockout blow, Friday’s jobs report was a letdown — at 163,000 net new jobs for July, the figure largely confirms the status quo.
For the next 24 hours, political figures of both parties will do their best to spin that status quo figure into a talking point for their side. But beyond the spin, it’s clear that economic news — barring something very dramatic — has started to decline in its power to shape the race.
If you’re of the school that says sooner or later, a sluggish economy will drag President Obama to defeat, much as it has done to governing figures in other countries since the 2008 financial crisis, then Friday’s report was confirmation. The economy shows no sign of sudden acceleration, and the unemployment rate, now 8.3%, seems very likely to remain above 8% by election day.
But if you look at opinion polls, most of which have shown Obama holding at least a small lead nationally and in key states, the jobs report would do nothing to change your view that the president is on track for a close reelection victory.
On the Barack Obama campaign blog, they’re leading with a familiar graphic today:
Responding statement from Mitt Romney:
“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families. Yesterday I launched my Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will bring more jobs and more take home pay. My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term. President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case. We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above eight percent. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”