Two Gallup polls may hold the answer to whether Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012. A poll Gallup released on September 21 shows that,in most Americans’eyes,President Obama owns this economy,and a second poll shows what a poor investment that is. Late last month,Gallup announced,“A slight majority of Americans for the first time blame President Obama either a great deal (24%) or a moderate amount (29%) for the nation’s economic problems.”(Emphasis added.) This is the first time a majority of respondents,53 percent,have held Obama responsible for the economic climate he further damaged.

second Gallup poll,released October 13,begins with the ominous words,“Fewer Americans had access to basic life necessities in September.”The survey found,while most Americans have access to the organization’s 13 basic necessities,that number is decreasing. Its Basic Access Index measures such things as access to food,health care insurance,a private doctor or dentist,and other daily needs. Only 81.4 percent of Americans had such access,down from a high point of 84.1 percent three years earlier. The survey found the greatest decreases were among Americans who no longer had access to a personal doctor,health insurance,or enough money for food and shelter.

The economic data that pour in are devastating. The combined rate of unemployment and underemployment has reached its highest level perhaps ever. According to federal statistics,14 million Americans are classified as unemployed,while 9.3 million are underemployed,and another 2.5 million are “marginally attached to the labor force.”Altogether,26 million Americans lack full-time employment.

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