Polls conflict. Rasmussen finds Governor Romney will be the next President. Gallup concludes the race is tied. But 3 polls (Fox, CNN, Reuters) found last week that the President was opening a 7 to 9 point lead.
While polling conflicts, US stock markets stopped collapsing and started rocketing up within weeks of the President's inauguration. And that's when Fox News stopped showing graphics of stock prices going down as the President spoke at events (a favorite technique of the network right after the November 2008 election).
As of friday, the S&P 500 was up 74% since the day President Obama was inaugurated in 2009 and 12% so far in 2012. See www.cnbc.com/id/48613570. If the President is re-elected, look no further than the Obama-Bernanke stock boom for why.
Wall Street Journal editorial page, conservative, and Romney campaign silence about the stock boom on President's watch is not surprising. After all, it is a market judgment that rebuts Republican claims that the President's policies are not working and exactly opposite of what they said stocks would do.
The near complete silence about the stock boom from Democrats, however, is becoming strange. Undoubtedly, the Obama team is wary of pointing to the great increase in stock wealth, because markets can turn quickly and for reasons that a President does not control fully. For example, since 2010, European austerity policies threaten a Euro meltdown and repeatedly put downward pressure on US stock prices.
But despite these external shocks, US stock markets keep rising. Like gasoline prices, stock gains or losses shape powerfully political mood and thinking.
Tens of millions of Americans with direct stock holdings or members of pension systems who fearfully watched their wealth vanish from 2007 to March, 2009, today open their investment reports and smile. The cause of those smiles remains one of the most powerful underpinnings of the President's support, even if the stock market boom during the President's term is in a cone of silence.
No President in his first term, since Dwight Eisenhower, has had a bigger increase in stock prices than President Obama. As the election nears and the risk lessens of a market downturn prior to the election, expect President Obama to point to the boom in equities as a market validation of his economic policies.