Eye On Obamerica : Sentiment Shifting

Keith and I have had many political debates over the last 12 months. He tends to be more flexible when it comes to politics and I tend to be more partisan.

In fact, I’m about as Republican as they come. In 2004, I actually worked on Get Out the Vote efforts for Bush-Cheney in Ohio. Obviously, it is difficult for me to not to admit that the team I campaigned for has executed terribly over the last four years. Nonetheless, my biases remain and I do have questions about Obama.

My biases aside, I have to fully acknowledge Keith’s point from the Early Look today, Obama is not only popular, but he makes people feel good. Not that there is any way to value “feeling good” from a stock market perspective, but it is potentially an important indicator of broader popular sentiment.

In a recent poll from the LA Times, “nearly three-quarters of those surveyed feel positive about Obama's election as president, a figure that includes not just an overwhelming majority of his fellow Democrats but a substantial majority of independents and nearly a third of Republicans.” In addition, nearly 8 out of 10 approve of the way he has handled the transition and nearly 3/4s approve of his cabinet picks.

While we can debate the semantics of this poll, and maybe even the methodology, it is, as always, hard to ignore the facts. President-Elect Obama has roughly 75% of the population that feel positive about him and the job he has done in the transition. On the other hand, President Bush currently has 26% approval rating.

The fact is, President-Elect Obama becoming President Obama is and will be a positive catalyst for the sentiment, and likely the stock market – at least in the short term.
Daryl Jones
Managing Director

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