It's the Stupid Global Economy

Why voters don't blame Obama for low growth--and prefer spending to cuts

Illustration by Harry Campbell for TIME

One of the most amazing things about this election season is that the weak economy hasn't been more of a liability for President Obama. Historically, it's unprecedented. If you look at the Conference Board's consumer-confidence index, which since its inception in 1967 has perfectly predicted presidential elections, you'll see that every time the index is below 95, the incumbent loses. Today's confidence number is around 66, which is very low by any standard. (When Jimmy Carter lost, it was 74!) Yet the President continues to lead in many polls, even when it comes to the economy. In a Pew poll conducted...

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