Expectations that the final pre-election jobs report would influence the presidential race evaporated today with the announcement that more jobs were added last month than anticipated. It maintains the status quo on the politics of the economy. Romney immediately called the report further evidence that the recovery is anemic. The report does support the central rationale of his candidacy but does nothing to advance it. The report also supports Obama’s claim that after the worst financial crisis and recession in almost a century, the economy has added jobs for 25 straight months.
On a separate matter, I agree with Ed’s post this morning that Romney’s campaign certainly enjoys the enthusiasm and energy of his supporters in these frenetic final days. Challengers almost always do; George McGovern got huge crowds in the final days of his historic loss to Richard Nixon. But Romney is no McGovern; this election will be close, the results perhaps unknown on election day. A better example for how the enthusiasm of the challenger can be mistaken for imminent victory might be 2004 when John Kerry seemed to have all the energy but came up short against the “ground and pound” campaign of George W. Bush. This time “ground and pound” belongs to Barack Obama and we will soon see whether it reaches its final fulfillment.