Whose economy is it? Obama's or Romney's?

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks off of his campaign plane on August 29, 2012 in Tampa, Fla.

Jeff Horwich: As the GOP wraps up its convention, Republicans are hammering the state of the economy we have today. Pollsters will tell you it's the economy we have in November that matters most.

So, could any economic news between now and then shift the electoral map? Here's Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman.


Mitchell Hartman: Unemployment is hovering above 8 percent. Housing has bottomed out. Growth is anemic.

Wall Street political analyst Andy Laperriere has been watching the GOP hone its message in Tampa.

Andy Laperriere: I think the economy we have now is the economy the candidates are stuck with -- for better or for worse, and mainly for worse for the President.

We’re sure to hear some upbeat headlines before November -- if unemployment edges down, or consumer spending surges.

But, says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer:

Julian Zelizer: We’re not talking about if there’s an uptick anymore. People are frustrated with the general state of the economy.

LaPerriere points out an irony here.

Laperriere: There’s a big difference between how Wall Street is viewing the economy and how the average voter is viewing the economy. For Wall Street a few months ago it looked like maybe we were going to tip back into recession.

Investors are more optimistic now.

Laperriere: I would say the average voter doesn’t really feel much different about the economy today.

And there’s not much that could change their minds before Election Day.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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