From Fox News:
It's the unemployment rate, stupid.
That could be the rallying cry for Republicans in elections next year, and possibly in 2012, as they seek to regain power in Congress and the White House.
Despite signs of improvement in the economy, the unemployment rate keeps climbing -- up to a 26-year high of 9.8 percent in September -- potentially providing Republicans political ammunition and putting Democrats on the defensive.
Republicans have seized on the rising jobless figures as proof that President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package was a spectacular failure. But Democrats insist that the economy would be in far worse shape without the spending injection.
Either way, top economists told FOXNews.com that even with the job growth attributed to the stimulus package, it won't be enough to compensate for all the job losses since the recession began.
"The hole that has been blown in the labor market is enormous," said Heide Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute.
In a new study by the institute, more than 53 percent of respondents listed unemployment and lack of jobs as the most important economic problem facing the country. The survey also found that 51 percent of respondents supported the stimulus package but an overwhelming majority, 81 percent, said the Obama administration still has not done enough to tackle unemployment.