The Employment Report and the Election

Today’s employment report was the last wild card in the electoral deck. Substantively, the report was fairly positive: more jobs gained in October than expected, and the August/September numbers revised upward. Politically, it was a mixed bag, with unemployment up a tenth of a percent to 7.9 it was 7.8 on Inauguration Day. The increase was due to people coming back into the labor force.

But Romney didn’t need a mixed bag: he needed a shockingly bad number. His odds on Betfair lengthened to 7/2 (22% chance of winning, which is pretty close to Nate Silver’s current 19%).

Those are still scary numbers, given what a horrible human being Romney turns out to be, what a disgustingly mendacious campaign he’s run, and what a collection of grifters and lunatics the GOP has become. There’s still five days of hard work ahead. Make sure your friends get out and vote.

But right now, despite all the happy h.s. coming out of the Noise Machine, it’s looking pretty good. And it’s hard to see what happens between now and Tuesday to turn it around.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.