Republicans just lost a talking point from their playbook.
Attacks against President Obama's record on job creation lost their zing after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released revised data showing massive job creation under the president’s tenure. The additional employment statistics may now suggest signs of a more robust economy than had been previously estimated.
Approximately 386,000 additional jobs than what were previously recorded were added to the economy from March 2011 to March 2012, giving a total net positive of 125,000 jobs under the Obama administration. That agency had initially undercounted by about 20%. The increase not only completely undermines the Romney campaign's claims that Obama "hasn't created one single net new job since he's been president," but goes on to put the president in a positive net job growth territory for the first time since the economic crash.
The job gains could boost what has already been a strong month of polling for the president's re-election campaign. Both Obama and Mitt Romney have zeroed in messaging to the middle class, but how will voters, particularly those within the white working class, respond to signs of a more robust economy?
For his Saturday show, msnbc host Chris Hayes pointed to a new survey out by the Public Religion and Research Institute that argues the main problem for President Obama and the Democratic party is not with appealing to white working class voters broadly, but rather with the region those voters live in. The survey found that white working class preferences were relatively split between Obama and Romney throughout the West, Midwest, and Northeast. The clear difference however was in the South. The survey results showed a commanding 40-point lead to Romney’s favor in nabbing 62% of white working class Southerners compared to Obama’s 22%.
Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown from the battleground state of Ohio told a different story to Hayes. On Saturday, Brown said that though Obama's working class appeal topped Romney's in the Midwest, Democrats had themselves to blame for not knowing how to talk to white voters who are not union members.
“The issue is that we as Democrats by and large fail to talk to the white working class—particularly white working class non-union voters,” Brown told the Up w/ Chris Hayes panel. “We do very well among union voters, but not so well among non-union voters.”
The latest Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS News poll from this week found Obama ahead of his opponent in Ohio by 10 points. The president managed to carry the Buckeye State during his first run in 2008, and forecasters predict a narrow path to victory for Romney without the state’s 18 electoral votes.
Brown has his own re-election race for his U.S. Senate seat to worry about, and he said that working class constituents viewed the economy as "increasingly better" but still "not great." He went on to point out that Ohio’s unemployment rate has dropped dramatically since 2010 when the jobless rate was well over 10%. Unemployment there now rests at 7.2% compared to the national average of 8.1%.
"People are still anxious of course," Brown said. "People look around and they see more people hired, they see more manufacturing jobs. They don't see enough yet and that's our challenge."