Are we headed for a double-dip recession? Must the economy improve for President Obama to be reelected? Opinion was divided as to the former, but a majority of readers argued that things must perk up for Obama to get a second term.

On the economy, sold2u writes, in part: “Hard to tell. It is easy to dismiss the rally in the bond market as a flight to quality trade driven by Europe, but you have to keep in the back of your mind that the bond market is telling you something. That said, if Europe absolutely implodes, then it is a distinct possibility. If Europe just muddles through, we probably won’t see a recession (2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth), but we are definitely in deceleration mode right now.”

Brian Thornton1 takes a different view: “The IMF warned of a double-dip recession back in September 2011 with the caveat that while it was possible, it probably would not happen. . . . Because the warnings were heeded then and in spite of the Euro crisis, it is unlikely that we . . . are heading for a double-dip recession so the answer to the first part of your question is no.” RegisUrgel also thinks we will muddle along: “There is no double dip recession. The entire world is an lull. There are a handful of countries which manage to do fairly well despite that. Germany and U.S. are going to continue to grow, albeit not very fast. The one good news is oil prices are down. The benefits are lagging but will be felt in a couple of months.”

As for Obama’s chances, most commenters agree with Songster, who writes in part:

Like it or not, bad economic news is bad news for Obama. Even the most ardent Obama supporter has to recognize that the President’s reelection chances are seriously damaged by an upturn in unemployment. Obama is the man at the helm, and if the bad news continues, the captain goes down with the ship.

Obama will simply NOT be reelected in the economy continues to slow or if we keep seeing this kind of dismal numbers. People will say, “Well, what you tried last time isn’t working, why would we let you do it again?” Obama and Democrats have continually blamed Bush and the right for the inherited recession. Well, perhaps in May 2012 - three and a half years into his presidency - we are finally seeing what a truly Obama economy looks like.

And Beagle1 sees it this way: “If the economy continues to worsen and SCOTUS invalidates the healthcare legislation later this month, I don’t see how Obama can hope to win in November. The perception will be that he wasted enormous amounts of time and political capital focused on healthcare when he should have being focused on the economy.” Good point.