"Data gloom clouds election," reads a top front-page headline in today's Financial Times. That's what it says. But it's not exactly right, as the story details. In fact it is the "data gloom" that underlies the presidential polls. There's no cloud at all as to why Obama will be the winner tonight. Yes,"it's the economy, stupid."

The same article reports that manufacturing activity in the United States has hit a 26-year low. An adjoining piece reports that "Car sales sink to lowest for three decades." And a General Motors excecutive adds that October sales are the worst "in the post World War II era."

So the data does not cloud anything. It clarifies everything.