Obama's re-election hopes heading in wrong direction

Supporters of the president haven't grasped the gravity of his electoral problems. Photo: Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY, February 22, 2012—Gallup’s Daily Tracking Poll shows the President’s approval ratings slipping again.

If we are to take the Democrats’ line of reasoning, it spells doom for him in November. Just last week they were crowing about his improved numbers when he got to a whopping 50% approval rating.

No modern president has been re-elected with upside down ratings since Richard Nixon in 1972. But Barack Obama campaigned on change, and so he’s determined to buck history.

Of course the latest slippage doesn’t mean much in itself, except to demonstrate that his uptick was not all that significant. The fact is that the sitting president does not have the support of the majority of voters. That’s not good for him.

This column has predicted major defeat for Obama since August of last year. Since then, not much has changed to alter the prognosis.

Three major themes are operating against Obama.

First is the map. Swing states that the president won in 2008 will almost certainly go red in 2012, and they have more electors now: Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado. A Republican might even put Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania into play.

Second are the demographics crucial to Obama’s win last election. His campaign has already written off blue-collar whites; if Romney is the GOP nominee he will siphon off women and Hispanics, who have started to turn against the President. Young people aren’t as young anymore, and it turns out that four years of job hunting wears off some of HOPE’s luster.

Finally, the GOP has learned its lesson about campaigning with kid gloves. The candidates have already shown a penchant for hitting Obama hard, particularly Gingrich and Romney. The mainstream media’s affinity for the president is so transparent that it can’t abet Obama without turning off fair-minded undecided voters.

So Obama enjoyed a tiny spike in approval during one of the most bloody rival primary seasons in memory. It is a sad state of affairs for the chief executive when the only time he can get his numbers up is when he is so far out of the news cycle. Super Tuesday will likely put an end to the President’s respite.

Once that happens, a united Republican Party will train their fire on Obama, and they have ammunition to spare.

Gas prices are on the rise. No legislative issues remain that play into the president’s favor. Unemployment may be headed north as workers declare themselves part of the labor force once again. The Middle East is getting hot, and Obama seems as ambiguous as ever. The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments over President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. As voters see their healthcare premiums go up, and as they consider the judgment of the man who made endless promises that have been systematically broken, Obama will hemorrhage support.

The coming nine months are not looking good for the president. Gallup tells the tale now. 


Learn more about the author at Rich-Stowell.com 

Rich is a teacher and a soldier. In addition to writing the “Rich Like Me” political column at the Washington Times Communities, he is the author of Nine Weeks: A Teacher’s Education in Army Basic TrainingTunnel Club; and Not Another Boring Textbook: A High School Students’ Guide to their Inner Conservative.




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Rich Stowell

Rich Stowell has written about politics and travel for the Washington Times Communities since 2011. He is a soldier in the Utah National Guard and a fellow at the Center for Communication and Community at the University of Utah. Rich is the author of "Nine Weeks: A Teacher's Education in Army Basic Training"and continues to blog about military issues at “My Public Affairs.”

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