On April 6, 2011 we looked at the landscape of the nation and determined what the potential outlook for a re-election of President Obama may be. Since then we have re-evaluated the Republican candidates looking for the nomination and a chance to challenge President Obama in 2012. Thus we believe that it is time to take another look at where President Obama stands.
The latest Real Clear Politics approval rating from President Obama is 43.5% with 51.2% disapproving. Since April that has dropped 3.1% in approval. A bad sign for any President seeking re-election. Even worse when the prospect of economic recovery was shot down yesterday with the announcement of the Fed that interest rates will not foreseeably increase until 2013 – meaning abysmal growth if at all for the next 2 years.
In February 2011 the 10 States least approving of President Obama averaged just 35.77% approval (WY, ID, WV, UT, OK, AK, KY, MT, AR, KS – in order from lowest to highest). As of August 8, 2011 the bottom 10 States average an approval of 33.7% (ID, WY, UT, OK, WV, AR, MT, KY, ND, with AL and KS tied – in order from lowest to highest). A drop of 2.07% in 6 months.
Looking at the states that we isolated in April as critical for the re-election of President Obama we see the following:
Colorado 44% – down 1.2%
Florida – 47% – up 1.2%
Indiana – 42% – down 1.9%
Iowa – 49% – up 1.5%
Nevada – 44% – down 3%
New Hampshire – 40% – down 1.3%
North Carolina – 46% – down .9%
Ohio – 45% – down 2.4%
Oregon – 44% – down 3.8%
Pennsylvania – 48% – up 1.7%
Virginia – 46% – down .4%
The next change over 6 months was a decrease in approval of 8.6% for the above states.
We also looked at the unemployment rate for those states, as the economic condition of the population likely will be a factor in their votes, or turning out to vote. The lastest change, as of Bureau of Labor Statistics, for June 2011 shows:
Colorado 8.5% – down .8%
Florida – 10.6% – down .9%
Indiana – 8.3% – down .5%
Iowa – 6% – down .1%
Nevada – 12.4% – down 1.2%
New Hampshire – 4.9% – down .5%
North Carolina – 9.9% – up .2%
Ohio – 8.8% – down .4%
Oregon – 9.4% – down .8%
Pennsylvania – 7.6% – down .3%
Virginia – 6% – down .4%
The total change was an average of .52% better (less unemployment) than the prior March 2011 figures.
Based firmly on these figures we determined that President Obama must win Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana in that order of importence for an electoral victory. Further, he must win at least 3 of these to have any chance of victory in 2012. We hased that on the assumption that President Obama will win 18 States (strongly or leaning Democrat) that he carried in 2008, and the new electoral math of those States after taking into account the population changes according to the 2010 Census.
We noted that there were several factors that could help or hurt the President. The most prominent was the economy. If the economy improved and jobs in these States dramatically improved he would fare far better in the 2012 election.
As of yesterday, with the Fed action and announcement, the hope of an improved economy, from the Stimulus, Health Care Reform, or any other current proposal has evaporated. It is likely that these States, and the rest of the nation, will hover in a range similar to that of the past 6 months – potentially worse if another credit rating agency downgrades the US. That downgrade would force interest rates up between 1 – 2%, and severely hamper the already feeble economy.
As of this moment stability in the Middle East is no more assured or apparent than in April. The outlook for it to become so is just as unlikely as previously. The war in Libya continues with no end in foreseeable sight. While operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, continued losses to military personnell are expected and occuring.
New instability in Europe and England is a negative that was not forseen and may have ripples that will negatively impact the US.
Lastly we looked at the Tea Party and the Republican candidates. The Tea party, while being demonized by the Left, are a political reality now. This was confirmed in the budget and debt ceiling debates. Their focus on the spending in Washington will directly affect the 2012 election. It is also a sentiment that is gaining traction among Democrats and Republicans, much to the dismay of both Parties.
As for the Republican candidate that may face President Obama, there still is no clear leader. Not that one was expected at this early date. Still, all of the potential nominees are aggressively targeting the economic policy of the obama Administration, and the pall that has settled on the growth of the nation. Considering the record of the Obama Administration on domestic issues alone, this is a weight that is more likely to drag the President down than raise him up.
Thus at this point, we continue to predict that President Obama will lose the 2012 election. We believe that based on the economic outlook and approval ratings, there is no reason to expect a homerun between now and the election. In fact the odds favor several negative and painful outcomes for the nation in the next year. All of which will lie upon the doorstep of the President as he is the leader of the nation, for good or bad.
As always, this is not written in stone. Far too many factors can come up that have not been forseen, or considered unlikely outcomes. The actual Republican candidate, and the ooutcome of actual debates with President Obama could sway the nation either way. International actions may create new opportunities or downfalls. The economic hurdles facing the nation, notably the deficit and the means by which it may realistically and definitively be reduced, still lie in the future.
We will continue to review the situation for the President, and the Republican nominees. But the most critical thing we can advise readers, is that no matter what we or any pundit may say or predict, the election is in the hands of the public. It is up to voters to review the campaign speeches, the voting records, and political actions of the candidates and President Obama. It is up to voters to determine which is the best choice for America, now and in the future. We do not presume to know what the American people will come to a consensus on, we just hope to elicit active participation in the voting process.
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