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Commentary: Obamacare Aside, It's the Economy

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AP

This week, the intense focus on the health care arguments at the Supreme Court has nearly wiped the presidential campaign out of the news.

To be sure, the court’s back and forth on this historic legislation is important, and what questions Justice Anthony Kennedy asks may give us an insight into the ultimate decision on whether to strike down Obamacare.

But Tuesday’s release of new consumer confidence measurements by the Conference Board will have a larger impact on the presidential election than any Supreme Court decision.

Total Cost: $58,065Tuition: $43,840Room & Board: $13,980Fees: $245Claremont McKenna, located near downtown Los Angeles, accepted only 12.4 percent of its applicants for the class of 2016, a rate that admissions counselor Brandon Gonzalez said ensures that students here will be going to school only with other top students.�The class of 2016 will be one of the most talented groups of students we have ever seen,�  The school will charge these students a tuition of $21,920 per semester, or $43,840 for the entire academic year, incurring a total cost of
Total Cost: $58,065Tuition: $43,840Room & Board: $13,980Fees: $245Claremont McKenna, located near downtown Los Angeles, accepted only 12.4 percent of its applicants for the class of 2016, a rate that admissions counselor Brandon Gonzalez said ensures that students here will be going to school only with other top students.�The class of 2016 will be one of the most talented groups of students we have ever seen,� The school will charge these students a tuition of $21,920 per semester, or $43,840 for the entire academic year, incurring a total cost of

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.