Consumer Confidence Drop Could Spell Trouble for Incumbents

Fatigued by sustained unemployment and government gridlock, are Americans giving up?

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That gap may be important, but others do count as well—that between available jobs and workers, for example, and also the gap between the nation's jobs problem and what politicians are doing about it. Closing that divide over the next 12 months is likely the key to victory for many incumbents. "People have no faith in [elected officials]; they think they're just out to get re-elected," says Canally. "That will get resolved one way or the other a year from now, in November 2012."

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