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The Most Important Chart Of The 2012 Election

The Most Important Chart Of The 2012 Election

Posted by Chris Cillizza at 03:32 PM ET, 07/06/2012

The June jobs report — 80,000 jobs added in the month and an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent — is full of bad news for President Obama as he seeks to make the case to the American electorate that the economy is slowly but surely improving.

The politics of the economy are heavily dependent on perception and that perception is heavily driven by the unemployment rate. (Economists roll their eyes at using such a simplistic measure to gauge the relative health of the economy but — and we can’t believe we are writing this — it is what it is.)

That’s why this chart — detailing the unemployment rate since President Obama is so in­cred­ibly important to his re-election prospects.

From last fall through the first quarter of this year, the chart above was a major positive for President Obama and his team. The unemployment rate declined slowly but steadily, a drop that allowed the President to make the case that his policies had begun to have their desired effect.

See Chart:

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