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      Thursday
      Nov112010

      Obama at Risk in 2012?

      It depends on many factors – message, morale at the base, candidates, the economy – but results of the November 4 election strongly suggest that Barack Obama might win the popular vote but lose the Presidency in the electoral college in 2012.
       
      In 2008, Obama swept 28 states and the District of Columbia, winning 52.9 percent of the popular vote and a solid triumph in the Electoral College of 365-173.
       
      Obama’s favorability ratings have dropped below 50 percent in the past year, and Democrats lost across the economically-ravaged Rust Belt. In addition, Democrats are in trouble in Virginia and North Carolina, where Obama won narrowly in 2008.
       
      With higher participation, especially among young people, Obama could remain at 53 percent in 2010, in spite of significant disappointment among his core supporters. But with greater disillusionment all around, his majority could drop to 50% or below.
       
      Eleven states representing 129 electoral votes could be up for grabs in 2012. Here are their Electoral College votes and current party registration numbers:

      Colorado [9] D53.7-R44.7 [went Republican in 2004]
      Florida [27] D51-R48.2
      Indiana [11] D49.9-R48.9
      Iowa [7]        D53.9-R44.4 [Kerry lost in 2004 by 0.67%]

      Michigan [17]

      New Mexico [5] D56.9-R41.8 [Kerry lost in 2004 by 0.79%]
      North Carolina [15] D49.7-R49.4
      Ohio [20]      D51.5-R46.9
      Pennsylvania [21] D54.5-R44.2
      Virginia [[13] D52.6-R46.3

      Wisconsin [10] D56.2-R42.6 [Kerry won in 2004 by 0.38%]

      The progressive turnout in 2012 will make difference in elevating Obama above 50 percent of the popular vote, and could well be a crucial difference in the Electoral College too. Exit polls in 2008 showed Obama with a 66-32% edge over John McCain. Since being elected, his job approval rating among young people has dropped from 75% to just over 50% [NYT, Sept. 3, 2010]. An October 2010 Harvard poll of young voters showed Obama’s approval ratings fell from 58% to 49% in one year [NYT, Oct. 21].
       
      As Bob Woodward’s most recent book and numerous media reports demonstrate, White House timetables for Afghanistan are heavily influenced by the 2012 electoral timetable. So are the Republicans efforts to box him into a hopeless war. Surely the peace and justice bloc will vote for Obama over any foreseeable Republican candidate in 2012, but its disillusionment will be measured in a sharp decline in numbers of volunteers, phone banking, get-out-the-vote, and fundraising efforts.
      

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      Reader Comments (6)

      In my current totally cynical state, it looks to me like Obama's just paving the way for his after-office life as a smug rich guy. I don't believe he's "caving in" to Republicans, or anyone else, he's enacting the policies he wants: keep low taxes on rich and multi-nationals, enact his cat commission cuts (he chose those guys, after all -- if I knew what they were going to say before they said it, you can be sure it's no surprise to him). He's clearly not doing anything to end war... he's doing more than ever to please the military industrial complex. The continuing misdeeds and jacking up prices of insurance companies will not help him sell the few merits of his otherwise bogus health insurance reform. The economy is on the brink of another severe disaster. We need another plan rather than focusing re-electing Obama. And Nancy Pelosi is our best hope for a progressive congress???

      November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Kaufman

      My speculation is that Obama will be a one trem president by choice because of the age of his children.
      His youngest child would spend nearly half of her growing up years in the confines of DC & the White House.
      Her parents minght not choose that much non-normality for her life.

      November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaryce Lauer

      My feeling is that many 2008 Obama voters will stay away from the polls in 2012, not voting for the GOP candidate, but being highly disappointed with Obama.

      November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShaurain Farber

      Obama has decided to appease the right not the left, probably because the right is sure to field a credible candidate against him in the 2012 election. If people want Obama to truly pursue an agenda based on social justice, environmental sustainability and peace; embrace a primary challenger who has the political credibility to force Obama to appease the left.

      November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter McNamee

      Tom. Am I cynical? Yeah. But I'm more than that. It might be described as progressive angst? The past mid-term elections just about knocked the wind out of me. I certainly hoped it wouldn't be as bad as they said. Well, it was. I really, really don't understand or comprehend what President Obama is thinking. As for the past two years, a huge disappointment. And I'm NOT even one of his young supporters. I'm 57! He has the hubris to wonder why we have lost that 'loving feeling' (you'll have to be of a certain age to remember that)? Wake up guy and smell the coffee. Get some caffeine in ya instead of that herbal tea stuff! I KNOW it's good for ya....but. As for the Lame Duck, lets see if we can't get some important stuff through. I have a lot of confidence in Nancy Pelosi. And without the constraint of running for election, who knows? Do I think he should run in 2012? Depends. I don't want to give up yet. But I'm almost there. Already looking. Any good third party candidates out there? This time, I'm really open to suggestions. You know, a really good third party candidate might be just what we need. And could they possibly win? This time, yeah I think so.

      November 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Lackowitz

      Wresting power from the right wing was never going to be easy! We have had 30+ years of a basically Republican agenda on the national scene. If we look to a third party presidential candidate in 2012, we will delight the Republicans, and once again, hand over the reins of power. I am still frustrated with supporters of Ralph Nader in 2000 who weakened the Al Gore vote just enough to hand us eight years of Bush!

      November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCelia Carroll

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