Local Impact of Economy on Election
Election Day looms just six days away, and an important factor to many voters is the economy.
The unemployment rates nationally and locally dropped marginally for September.
The national unemployment rate dipped to 7.8 percent in September.
California is higher at 10.2 percent and Riverside County is even higher yet at 12 percent of the population without jobs.
Even though the unemployment numbers look like they are improving, economist Kevin Cochrane says appearances can be deceiving.
"Going into this election we find unemployment dropping slightly, mostly due to people no longer being counted, the true unemployment rate is about 13 percent if you count disaffected workers, people who've dropped out of that count," said Cochrane, economics professor at College of the Desert.
Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack says while on the campaign trail, many people have told her how important the economy is this election.
"They've recognized that the answer that's come in the last four years of more government spending, big stimulus plans, more regulation isn't the way to go. I think people are energized and enthused, they recognize to grow the economy it's going to take some sound policies again, start with energy, look at tax policies and look at removing the regulations that are placed on businesses," said Congresswoman Bono Mack.
36th district challenger, Dr. Raul Ruiz, was speaking to seniors about Medicare in Palm Springs Thursday; he also says voters want jobs.
"We have the great opportunity to really improve jobs with two great industries, one is the healthcare with the new medical school and the residencies, we have the ability to focus on medical research and bio-technology and our green energy, my vision is for us to be the leaders in the nation in our entire country on green technology, renewable energy with the abundance of wind, solar and geothermal energy that we have here," said Dr. Ruiz.
Valley voters are sounding off as well.
"The economy is not going to effect the way I vote basically because I don't want the United States to go socialist," said Rancho Mirage resident, Marsha McHenry.
"Very important because a lot of people have been out of jobs and you know looking, and they've been promising a lot of jobs so that's what we're looking for," said La Quinta resident, Noehly Figueroa.
"I think the economy is a big component of this election, but I think it's been made even bigger by the electioneering being done by both the President and his challenger, Mitt Romney," said Cochrane.
Economist Kevin Cochrane says our valley economy is unique -- mainly focused on tourism and hospitality with a large part of the population that does not vote here.