Amid positive jobs numbers, politicians hedge bets

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Associated Press

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 4 at 9:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top jobs numbers for June would seem to be cause for some appreciation. After all, the unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent, the lowest in six years, and hiring showed five months of steady growth.

But the public continues to perceive the economy as poor.

So, heading into a midterm campaign season, the politicians on Thursday hedged their bets and pointed fingers.

Republican pollster Whit Ayres says, quote, "In the voting booth, economic perception beats economic statistics every time."

Even President Barack Obama, who would be eager to take credit for an economy on the mend, felt compelled to throw in a dampening caveat as he drew attention to the 288,000 jobs created in June and the lower 6.1 percent unemployment rate.

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