Obama heading for political trench warfare between 2010 and 2012

November 14th, 2010 - 6:34 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama Washington, Nov.14 (ANI): President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign appears likely to resemble the political trench warfare that marked the 2000 and 2004 presidential races.

Last week’s midterm elections saw the trio of conservative-leaning states Obama captured in 2008 - Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana - return to their Republican tendencies while more traditional swing states also broke sharply toward the GOP.

Perhaps most worrisome for Democrats, Rust Belt and Midwest states that had been trending toward the party even before Obama’s election saw Republicans pile up victories.

In places such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the president won with double-digit margins two years ago, the GOP captured offices up and down the ballot and demonstrated that they remain politically competitive in those states.

Midterm elections are notoriously flawed indicators for subsequent presidential races.

And in an era of political fluidity, when an agitated electorate is quick to register its discontent, much can change over the span of two years.

“The map does look a lot like 2004,” said longtime Democratic strategist Jim Jordan, likening the coming presidential race to the clash between President George W. Bush and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.

He adds: “It does feel like back to the future. We’re going back to political equilibrium.”

Democratic consultant Paul Begala said: “If Obama holds the Kerry states and carries only the states in which Democrats prevailed in 2010, he loses.”

What many in the party believe - and more now are willing to voice publicly - is that 2008 may have been a referendum on President George W. Bush and that Obama’s victory was owed in large part to exhaustion with the outgoing administration.

“The key to Democrats in the long run are Hispanics,” veteran consultant Harold Ickes said.

He adds: “They are clearly an offset against losses in other segments of the vote.”

If he can hold all the western states he won in 2008 and pick up Arizona - which, as John McCain’s home state, wasn’t competitive last time - Obama very likely will have won 109 electoral votes.

That’s more than one third of the 270 he would need to be reelected.

According to Politico, the Democrats’ best hope may be for the economy to improve so Obama can make the case to voters that he’s making progress. (ANI)

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