May's poor job numbers -- 69,000 jobs added and a bump up in unemployment to 8.2 percent -- fuels Mitt Romney's claim that Barack Obama isn't mending the economy as quickly as Republicans and some Americans say he should.
But how do the fence-sitters, that increasingly smaller sliver of Americans who are undecided, see last month's dismal numbers? Yahoo! News asked them how the struggling economy is coloring their vote. Below are perspectives from voters who are still making up their minds.
Labor Department numbers a small factor for this undecided voter: Today's Labor Department release indicating an slight uptick in unemployment and the fewest monthly new hires in a year alone doesn't have much influence on my vote.
I am a disenchanted, former strong supporter of the president in suburban Washington, D.C. My vote is up for grabs.
To put the American economy on track, we need a president and Congress to work together to stop rampant spending, open up to innovation, and instill confidence and determination in a weary, and increasingly disillusioned, public. -- Carol Bengle Gilbert, Silver Spring, Md.
May's job numbers indicate economic disaster ahead: If I had to vote today, I would be voting for Mitt Romney and praying his policies will be more effective than President Barack Obama's Band-Aids.
As an uncounted unemployed statistic in my late 40s in Mountainair, N.M., I cannot help but feel May's job numbers accurately reflect what is truly going on with the economy.
Obama used a temporary Band-Aid to try to fix our worsening situation. Now the Band-Aid is falling off and there is no real relief coming. -- Sharyl Stockstill, Mountainair, N.M.
It's not Obama; it's Congress that isn't doing its job: Living in a rural area means that there has always been a limited amount of jobs. No matter what the economy has been, I have always been a firm believer in personal responsibility. Therefore, I have always been able to create my own job when there haven't been any available.
If I were to vote today, I would vote for Obama.
I don't blame President Obama for the condition of our country. I blame Congress and the citizens for allowing a Congress to continue in a manner that has far outlived its usefulness. -- Kathy Foust, Knox, Ind.
Obama may not be getting it done, but Romney doesn't show promise either: The weak job market does not convince me that the government needs to lunge in and seize control, as liberals claim, nor does it convince me that we should allow corporations to keep all their money as tax rates plummet, blindly hoping that they will do the right thing and use this extra money to hire workers.
I believe the economy and America is in a malaise that must correct itself. We, as a society, must find our way again.
There is little either Obama or Romney can do, whether in the Oval Office or not, to convince people to spend, hire, and invest at healthy and proper levels.
The public helped create the Great Recession and the public must help fix it. -- Calvin Wolf, Midland, Texas
Still willing to give Obama four more years: I don't know what went into Romney's poor record in Massachusetts, but I know Obama inherited a huge mess from eight years of poor economic management under the Bush administration. From the lack of control over the housing/loan market to the blindness over Ponzi schemes to the draining wars in the Middle East, a perfect storm was created. As we saw after the Great Depression, it takes a long time to recover from complete financial disaster.
Right now, I'm willing to see what Obama can with another term. I still think the Democrats favor the average working man a little more, and hope Obama has learned a lot about leadership over the past four years. -- Don Maker, Northern California
Despite my conservatism, job numbers sway me again toward Obama: I'm Catholic, so I naturally detest issues like secularism and abortion, but as a cheerleader for the middle-class, I find myself in a pickle when it comes to who will get my vote for president this year.
I'm a West Virginia voter, though, so no matter how I vote, my state will vote Republican, but if I had to make a decision today, my vote would be for Obama. Republicans just cannot relate to the working class and even though I'm conservative on issues like abortion, it's not like any Republican will overturn Roe vs. Wade anyway. -- Ruqaiyya Noor, New Haven, W.V.
Jobs picture not enough to commit this undecided voter yet: I'm an undecided voter who believes that the 2012 election needs to decide some big issues. Americans, like others around the world, want jobs -- secure jobs that offer a decent lifestyle.
I don't necessarily accept the U.S. government bailout of GM. I am appalled at the huge federal budget mess. I question whether our government is investing enough in R&D and the future.
"Who is leading this country? And where?" Those are the questions my vote hopes to answer. -- Sheri Fresonke Harper, Winter Springs, Fla.
Job numbers disappointing, but Romney's reaction uninspiring: Romney's reaction today was decidedly un-presidential. While I believe Romney was a good businessman and a political moderate, my concerns are growing over his leadership skills.
Romney seemed to pile on in reaction to the report. He said, in part, "Probably the most significant thing we could do in the near-term is to get a new president."
If Romney believes getting a new president is the most important thing to do in reaction to an ominous employment picture, then I question his credentials as a visionary and as a free market capitalist. -- Ron Hart, New York
May's jobless numbers: They mean nothing and everything: This isn't all Obama's fault. There's enough blame for both the federal and the state governments, the Democrats and the Republicans. Mitt Romney has yet to show me how he plans to reach across the aisle, to take the great ideas of both parties and put them together for the creation of jobs.
Until someone steps up and shows me some action, these numbers mean nothing. But I am days away from my 40th birthday and from moving from rural Colorado to a place that -- for my sake -- must offer more job opportunities.
Hope? Show me some, Obama and Romney. It means everything. -- Susan Graybeal, western Colorado
Maybe Mitt Romney Can Stop the ‘Stimulus of Debt’: It seems as though all we have "stimulated" is a larger debt. To see The White House Blog blame the Great Recession of 2008 once again for the May down-tick, after all this time, makes my stomach lurch.
I'm sick that friends my age have had so much trouble finding jobs. Unless by some miracle President Obama can fix this mess without making it worse, digging us into a never-ending hole of monstrous debt with barely anything to show for it, I can't in good conscience vote for him.
I'm definitely leaning toward Mitt Romney for president. -- Kristen Dyrr, San Marcos, Calif.
- Politics & Government
- Barack Obama
- Mitt Romney