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One Year Left: Obama Running Against History

With today marking the one-year countdown to Election Day 2012 and his approval rating stuck in the low 40s, President Obama will have to defy American electoral history if he is to win re-election.

At 43 percent approval in a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 28-30, Mr. Obama recently referred to himself as an “underdog” — with good reason. Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, only one went on to win a second term.

That was President Nixon, whose job approval stood at 49 percent in November 1971. He rebounded to defeat Democrat George McGovern in a landslide in 1972.

Mr. Obama does have some advantages. He is still a formidable fundraiser, having amassed more than $150 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee this year.

Also, his re-election operation is more robust than any of the GOP camps, which are waging a long and costly primary battle. Mr. Obama’s campaign is able to build on a 50-state network from 2008, an email list of more than 9 million potential supporters and an experienced staff with unequaled savvy in digital marketing and social networking.

In early polling of head-to-head matchups with potential GOP candidates, Mr. Obama comes out on top in nearly every instance. One poll in the battleground state of Florida this week showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied with Mr. Obama.

Those factors give Democrats hope that Mr. Obama can pull out a victory.


6 Responses

  1. Chas V’Sholom! It boggles my mind that he’s still in the 40s. He should be in the 10s! How can anyone STAND this guy!?? May he go down fast and far!

  2. Now is the time for us to intensify pressure on President Obama to release Jonathan Pollard and Sholom Rubashkin, with a clear threat to vote Republican (which many of us intend to do anyway) if he does not.

    After the election, the president (Obama or his opponent) will have a four-year term, with no need to respond.

  3. Leave it to the NY SLIMES to claim he is ahead of the GOP (potential) candidates.


    Please DO NOT listen to the press. They want Obama to win again. They are so stupid by not seeing what he is doing to the country and what he WANTS to CH”V do to the country. Go VOTE for whomever you want in the primaries and DONT LISTEN to the press. VOTE WITH YOUR CONSCIENCE & BRAINS!

  4. He’s running against the Republicans. There is no candidate names “history”. In fact the last president to run for reelection during a depression was reelected twice even though the economy didn’t recover during his administration.

  5. Comment no. 5 reminds me of the old joke about the two guys who go bear hunting, and one of them shoots at a bear and only grazes the bear, and the bear charges after the two hunters, and the two hunters start running, and one hunter says to the other, “You will never outrun that bear,” and the other hunter says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.”

    As an Obama supporter, I find that joke instructive about the next presidential election. I believe that the economy continues to recover only at an anemic pace because, in part, there has not been a big-enough dose of government stimulus spending, and too big a dose of government belt-tightening, largely as a result of the misguided (or, perhaps, cynical) opposition of the Republican party, and President Obama’s good-faith but misguided attempt to cooperate with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

    If enough people share my view, and recognize that the Republican prescription for less government stimulus spending is a recipe for disaster, then President Obama will easily outrun the bear of economic malaise and the voters will reject the Republican candidate, whoever he/she is, just as the bear will stop chasing both hunters when he catches the slower one.

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