Election Connection

It's the Economy, Again

A quick glimpse at a news search for "economy" brings up a slew of gloomy forecasts. From Economy Remains Stuck in Low Gear to Well-Being of Americans Declines as Economy Worsens, it's clear that there's little else trumping the economy as the number one issue for voters this year.

Patchwork Nation director Dante Chinni spent time in several target communities in the last week before the conventions, and wasn't surprised to find that this is the case.

First, and most pressing, is the economy. It has been mentioned as an election issue in all of our 11 communities -- and as THE issue in many of them. As we noted on Monday, falling gas prices have improved the immediate economic situation in many places and that may help McCain if the trend continues. But in our interviews little has changed in terms of larger concerns and fears about what's ahead. And, in relative terms, the nation's "Evangelical Epicenters" are now faring quite poorly, a trend that could hurt McCain as those areas were already not the most enthusiastic McCain supporters.

In the "Empty Nest" community of Clearmont, Florida, Anne Dupree wrote:

Lake County is being hard hit with the current economic times. Unemployment rate is at 6.5%, higher than the Central Florida average of 6.1%. Just hope it does not go the 12% we had in the mid 80's. It was not pretty! Many having a difficult time are those formerly in the construction business, which has about come to a halt, realtors and associated businesses. Restaurants are seeing fewer patrons.

Will the candidates and their yet-to-be-named running mates have any new plans to share about reversing the economic downturn at the conventions? Browse and create ideas for overcoming income disparity with American Public Media's Idea Generator tool, or share your own below.


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