How good are Obama’s chances to win a second term?

April 5th, 2011 - 6:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Apr 5 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has officially started his re-election campaign that has raised questions about his chances of winning the 2012 presidential elections.

A poll conducted last month suggested Obama would beat American businessman Mitt Romney by nine points and Minnesota politician Tim Pawlenty by 19 points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup if the election were going on at this moment.

The margin was narrower against a generic Republican candidate, but even then Obama held the edge, 45 percent to 40 percent. Mr. Obama’s approval rating two years into his term was 49 percent, which was higher than two of the last two three presidents to win a second term- Presidents Reagan and Clinton.

The potential candidates like Indiana’s Governor Mitch Daniels and Utah’s Governor John Huntsman, who would seem to have the strongest appeal to voters, will have a tough time getting through the primaries if they enter the race.

Even if someone with relatively broad appeal wins the nomination, they will be linked at some level to the more polarizing figures in their party, The CBS reports.

Then there is the prospect of a strong third-party candidate making waves in the general election. If the Tea Party backs a challenger to a Republican nominee it sees as too moderate, the conservative vote could be split, making Obama’s path to victory much easier.
Another important factor is the power of incumbency. Incumbents have the advantage of being a known quantity and even voters not entirely sold on a president tend to favor the known over the unknown.
Next is the money factor, Obama showed himself to be an astounding fundraiser in 2008, raising a staggering 750 million dollars, he is expected to potentially hit the 1 billion dollars mark this time. Republicans will fight hard to match Obama on the money front.
Also, former political operative Tom Cole suggested that the 2012 electorate would be very different than the electorate in 2010. “It’s going to be younger, browner, and more to the left,” he said.
The young and minority voters who came out for Obama in 2008 and then, in many cases, sat out the midterms last year will likely be back, which is good news for the president as well as other Democrats, he said.
All this does not necessarily mean Obama will win, a lot can and will happen between now and November 2012. But the president’s relative popularity, coupled with the seeming weakness of the GOP field and the improving economy, suggest that he is well positioned to secure a second term. (ANI)

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