Bloomberg by the Numbers: Minus 43

Photograph by Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

An inflatable eagle at the Rick Perry Buick GMC dealership in La Salle, Illinois.

That’s the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for political Independents in the week ended July 8. The index, produced for Bloomberg by Langer Research Associates, asks people to rate the national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances on a scale of plus 100 to minus 100, then averages the results of the three responses. The index for all respondents was minus 37.5, same as the previous week.

The minus 43 finding for Independents is among the lowest totals of the year for that voting bloc — people who say they don’t identify with the Democrats or the Republicans and who can help swing the outcome of elections.

“Economic negativity among Independents — the traditional swing voters in presidential elections – represents a significant threat to the Obama campaign, and an opportunity for Mitt Romney, in the campaign ahead,” Langer Research Associates wrote in a written analysis on July 10.

The index was minus 25.2 for Democrats and minus 40.6 for Republicans. The scores may be influenced by partisan reasons: Democrats say the economy under President Obama’s leadership, while Republicans say his policies have kept the national unemployment rate above 8 percent for 41 consecutive months.

Here’s a look at some Bloomberg stories about the economy and the election:

President Barack Obama is favored to win the Nov. 6 election with 50.8 percent of the popular vote, though increased partisan polarization makes it tougher for him to win a second term, according to a forecasting model by Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz. Lisa Lerer has more about his findings.

The voting public is anti-Congress, though that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an anti-incumbent year. Here’s why.

By a margin of 55 percent to 36 percent, respondents to a Quinnipiac University poll say Obama’s 2010 health-care overhaul amounts to a tax increase, Kristin Jensen writes.

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