The Conference Board says all four of its economic indicators--consumer confidence, employment trends, help wanted online and CEO confidence-are up/positive in April. Also economic indicators in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and U.K as well as U.S. are up/positive if only slightlyh in some cases. Any improvement in the economy is good news for Obama and the Democrats. See http://www.conference-board.org/
Also, the New York Times speculates that Haley Barbour and others are skipping the 2012 race because they think the economy will be the deciding factor and it shows signs of steady, if gradual, improvement. They figure Obama will be difficult to defeat if the economy keeps improving and unemployment keeps dropping. Furthermore, if Obama wins, they bet that Biden will not run in 2016 which would give them the chance to not have to run against a sitting President or V.P. Additionally, some Republicans who might have ability run a strong race in 2012 are worried that they would have to swing far right to get by the Tea Party in the primaries and such a strong swing to the right might make it difficult for them to attract Independents in the fall election. See: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/why-republicans-may-skip-2012-presidential-run/
Also, Republicans are facing a major push-back from voters over their proposed budget and effort to privatize Medicare. Paul Ryan, architect of the Republican plan, faced a skeptical audience and chorus of boos when he tried to explain his plan back in his home state. At about the same time, Daniel Webster, a freshman Republican from Florida, faced an unruly crowd carrying signs saying, "Hands off my Medicare." See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/us/politics/27congress.html?_r=1&src=recg
As I said, this is all good news for Democrats. If the economy keeps improving and unemployment continues to trend down, even if it is not back to full employment by November, Obama and the Democrats will benefit. If more mainstream Republicans drop out of the race or are forced to track hard right to meet Tea Party demands and win Republican primaries, then Democrats will face Republicans with extreme positions that Independents are unlikely to support. Finally, if Republicans continue to offer up radical proposals that scare Americans, particularly older Americans who vote in large numbers, then Democrats will have great wedge issues to use against them. Additionally, the more extreme the Republican proposals the easier it will be for Democrats and Obama to race campaign funds.
Let's hope these positive trends continue. Come on Republicans, give us your proposals to privatize Social
Security and eliminate federal funding for education. You can do it. Be brave. Do what is right,not what wins elections. Wouldn't you rather lose than cave into voter demands?