Due to high gas prices, the consumer confidence index fell slightly more than a point between February and March, and now stands at 70.2. This drop comes after President Obama saw an unprecedented rise of almost 32 points between last October and February.
Standing alone, a one-point shift barely matters. Consumer confidence, like all survey-based indicators, has a margin of error. But consumer confidence was significantly higher at this point in the re-election campaigns of President Reagan (101.1), President Clinton (98.4), and President George W. Bush (88.5). And the trend may matter most.
If consumer confidence keeps dropping between now and August, Obama will find himself in a deep hole for the fall campaign. The Supreme Court might end up being the least of his problems.
Sara Fagen is a CNBC contributor who helps Fortune 500 companies and trade associations with strategic planning and crisis management. One of the nation’s leading political and issue campaign strategists, she served as a senior aide and White House political director for President George W. Bush.