Reason/Rupe Poll results as reported by Emily Ekin in “Obama Leads Romney 52-45 In New Reason-Rupe Poll; In Three-Way Race Obama Leads Romney 49-42, Johnson Gets 6 Percent”
As Basilisc reported here on Tumblr:
Ezra Klein points to an intriguing polling result, above. Even though more people think they’re worse off today than four years ago, it’s also the case that more people think they’re better off because Obama won four years ago. In other words, a plurality thinks that, if McCain had won in 2008, they would be even worse off now.
Not only are people’s ideas about whether/why they are/aren’t better off interesting, but so are the majority’s opinions on government influence, income inequality, and equality of opportunity as reported in the above quote. In all three cases, the majority favors the rhetoric we hear most often from the Republican side — and yet the same poll showed Obama with a seven point lead over Romney.
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008 - six months before Lehman Brothers collapsed and only a few months into the Great Recession.
The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations in the weekly data, fell for the fifth straight week to 365,250. The average has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year.
The consistent decline indicates that companies are laying off fewer workers, and hiring is likely picking up further. When applications drop below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.