SALT LAKE CITY, August 16, 2011—Many on the Left claim to think that President Obama will be handily re-elected. Commentators who are reliable cheerleaders for Democrats, such as Lawrence O’Donnell and Peter Beinart, have publicly declared their faith in the president’s re-election prospects.
Hillary Clinton said a few months ago that she was “confident” of Obama’s re-election, while Nancy Pelosi guaranteed it.
Most Democrats, however, merely fall back on the standard prognostication that Obama will eke out a close election, like a coach telling his team that things aren’t that bad during halftime of a game in which they find themselves behind … big.
Obama will lose re-election, and it won’t be close.
First, look at the electoral map, which settled in favor of the president, 365 – 173 in 2008, an impressive win indeed.
But the map is different now. Obama will not win any state that John McCain won; it’s just not that kind of environment. Those states gained six votes in census-year reapportionment.
Then there are almost certain losses for the president—states (and their votes) he won last time that will not swing for a liberal democrat who now has a record to defend: Iowa (6), Ohio (18), Indiana (11), Virginia (13), North Carolina (15), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), and Florida (29). Those states have 103 electoral votes between them.
Then there are the battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Colorado.
Depending on the nominee and his or her running mate, you can throw in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Obama will win most of these states, but could lose one or two of them.
Change is coming. You can believe it.
Optimistic Democratic strategists and liberal pundits like Beinart hang many of their hopes on demographics, which they say are in the president’s favor.
But the reality is that blacks won’t turn out for him like they did in ’08, when Obama garnered ninety-five percent of the black vote. If Herman Cain lasts a while in the primaries, a few might even move to the Republican side. Democrats insist, as did Andrew Sullivan last week, that Obama has consolidated Hispanic voters in their column.
Yet Marco Rubio of Florida and Brian Sandoval of Nevada will certainly be visible advocates of the Republican contender in important swing states, while Ted Cruz could bring Texan Latinos to the GOP cause in greater numbers.
Young people were fooled in 2008 to the tune of 69%. They are older now and either looking for work or paying taxes. Their enthusiasm has dampened. The young people who will replace them will not be as energized as their 2008 counterparts, and many of them, having come of political age in the Obama economy, will go for the GOP nominee.
Obama’s supporters can always fall back on the man’s gift for oratory, explanations, and talking directly to the American people. In debates, they assume he will steamroll any Republican like he did to John McCain.
Again, things are different now. For the candidate in 2008, it was easy to defend platitudes and slogans. For the president, it will be much harder to defend his failed policies. Seriously, what can he possibly say now about there being “no red or blue?” More than that, his confidence must be a bit shaken.
He was like the high school phenom on the ascent, greeted by ever bigger crowds and more adoring fans, only to find in the big leagues the competition is stiffer and the fan less forgiving.
One can see that in his ramblings at press conferences and dancing around tough questions in interviews.
Republicans have learned, too, that it is okay for them to swing back. John McCain played the gentleman who tried to win without saying a single negative thing about his opponent. This time around, the Republican nominee will certainly mince no words in describing Obama’s lack of seriousness, mettle, understanding, and success.
The mainstream media, which folks like Bill O’Reilly and Bernard Goldberg have said accounted for one and a half to five percentage points in Obama’s 2008 victory, will be behind their candidate in force. Yet the ever-powerful swing voter is getting hip to their act, and as the Obama-ites in the media go to ever-greater lengths to root for him, they will expose themselves as partisan players and begin to do him harm.
Finally, there are the brutal facts of reality with which the president must deal. Unemployment is the albatross around his neck. The economy is not growing. Our debt in now central in the public conversation, and our recent credit downgrade is an unmistakable reminder of Obama’s profligate ways.
So the Obama machine will fight the good fight, and spend a billion dollars. But in the end, he will lose, and it won’t be close.
Learn more about the author at Rich-Stowell.com.
Rich is a teacher and a soldier. He is the author of Nine Weeks: A Teacher’s Education in Army Basic Training; Tunnel Club; and Not Another Boring Textbook: A High School Students’ Guide to their Inner Conservative, which you can follow on Facebook.
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