Voters most battered by the economy still favor Obama
Hubert Pereira, a cook, was in the front row that day. It was great, he said, beaming as he recalled that the president had shaken his hand and hugged his companion, Felisa Medalla.
But a year after the speech, the handshake and the hug, Pereira and Medalla are far from convinced that happy times are here again.
Pereira, 50, recently switched his registration from Democrat to nonpartisan after suffering a yearlong bout of unemployment. Medalla, a waitress who was laid off seven months ago, complained: People say Obama is doing good. But how can he be doing good when I don't have a job?
Her question goes to the heart of why, despite Obama's recent uptick in the polls, his battle for reelection against Republican nominee Mitt Romney remains too close to call.
In nationwide Reuters/Ipsos surveys, conducted over nine months, a startling 35 per cent of households have suffered a major economic setback in the past four years. They have either lost a house to foreclosure or are in the middle of losing one. Or they have lost a job or taken a pay cut. Almost 96,000 adults were polled.
The disillusion among voters in this group is extreme: Only 21 per cent think the national economy is going
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