Just hours after Senate Democrats argued for the dire need to pass an emergency unemployment insurance extension, Democratic Senate aides said they are confident the Obama economy will be Democrats’ saving grace come the November midterm elections.
“If the economy continues to improve at the rate it’s improving by or more, we will hold the Senate, plain and simple,” a senior Senate Democratic aide told The Hill.
Vulnerable Democrats like Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) echoed the confident refrain. “I think the overall economy is resilient,” said Pryor. “I assume that tends to help incumbents.”
Republicans like former Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens say Democrats’ desire to highlight “income inequality” on the one hand while celebrating a strong Obama economy on the other is a risky and self-refuting strategy.
“The message seems to be: ‘the economy is great–send emergency relief!'” said Stevens.
Former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod seemed less sure that championing the Obama economy was the best course for Democrats to follow.
“I think to pretend that ‘It’s morning in America’ is a misreading of the times in which we live,” said Axelrod.
Democrats’ mixed economic message places them at odds with most voters’ views of America’s economic outlook. The most recent Gallup poll finds that 56% of Americans believe the U.S. economy is getting worse.