Electoral Concern, Not Panic for the President

obama crowd

Photo: Pete Souza, White House

That President Obama will have a steep re-election hill to climb is no secret. The recent McClatchy-Marist poll shows that this climb is getting increasingly harder. A plurality of voters indicate they will definietly vote against the President and even non-frontrunners like Ron Paul are closing the gap in hypthetical match-ups with Obama. For the administration this poll is cause for concern but not panic for four reasons:

  • Hypothetical match-ups are just that, hypothetical. At this stage we are witnessing a nine-on-one pile up. While the Republican candidates are throwing jabs at each other in an effort to standout, their core message is of criticizing the president. Weeks of coverage of this type of rhetoric is having an effect on public opinion.
  • President Obama is not in full campaign mode. The President may have made a lot of mistakes and have his set of weaknesses, but if there is one thing he is good at it’s campaigning. Not being in campaign mode yet, the President has not shoot back at the Republican criticism. As a result, individuals do not have readily available messaging to counterbalance the numerous and GOP assaults.
  • Independents matter, but the base is what really matters. The gains that the Republican candidates have made come from a migration of Independent voters. Some of these individuals voted for Obama, some of them did not. However, while the out-migration of Independents will make the election tight, it is not the determinant factor. Turning out the base is what wins an election, alternatively not turning it out is what seals defeat (e.g. Bush ’92).
  • victoria defrancesco sotoLocation, location, location. The McClatchy-Marist poll provides an aggregate view of candidate preferences. However, the presidential election is fought on the electoral map. It depends where President Obama is loosing the Independent vote. If he is loosing Independents in Texas or California it is no big deal, if he is loosing Independents in New Mexico, then that is a problem. A blanket statement of loosing (or gaining) support must be prefaced with a geographical point of reference.

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto


  1. Ray Bishop says

    It is a sad day in hell when people who have a concern for the World think that they might be better off with a Republican in office. Logic stands with the President and it is scary to think of the possibility that the President might lose to one of the Republicans. Any reasonable person with intelligence and a memory for history should realize that this is the time to unite together to see that the President is re-elected. Once this is done, I am all for anyone who will prepare for the next election to put a better President in to build on the principals of what we must not loose sight of. Our battle is in the long run and any short sighted and misdirected frustration and anger will only make things worse.
    President Obama inherited a really bad situation as we tottered on the edge. He managed to hold things together with the start of a foundation that we must now build on. We do not want to go back into that hole that was left after the Bush Administration.

  2. Chris1791 says

    There is no way in hell Obama is going to get re-elected PERIOD. He will go down in history as the worst POTUS we have ever had and will be THE WORST POTUS the United States of America. That is if we can recover from what he has done and save our Republic. What he has done just in 3-years will take many many generations of Americans to fix.

  3. MyLeftMind says

    If Obama loses the 2012 election, it’ll be because the people who voted for him in 2008 have finally realized he’s a big fake who gives lip service to our needs but who actively serves the Masters of the Universe who fund his campaigns and his future post-presidency celebrity and accumulation of wealth and power.

    Obama the speechmaker is saying all the right things again, but his actions as President belie his words. He’s back in campaign mode, pretending he’s on our side. But once reelected, he’ll continue pushing his ongoing wealth redistribution schemes that destroy the middle class and make the wealthy rich beyond their wildest dreams. Obama had the chance to be a great president, a hero of the common people. We would have been in the streets protesting the Republicans who were obstructing the goal of supporting the middle class, IF ONLY Obama had taken up our cause.

    The man’s a stealth Republican and we need to primary him and get a real Democrat in office.

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