Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Obama Still In Trouble

Don't believe the hype from the left or the confidence from Obama. The fact remains that Obama is still in trouble and his reelection remains in much doubt. When the unemployment numbers started to improve, Obama and his media propagandists starting portraying Obama as almost inevitable. The media started going as far as to state the Republicans are blowing this election cycle. Yet using history as the model, Obama is in big trouble.

Incumbent Presidential candidates heading into primary season that have not yet solidified their own base behind them have lost. Take every election from 1968 forward and we can see the incumbents that had trouble with their base in the primary season have lost. In 1968 there was no incumbent. The incumbent party however was in a state of disarray. Robert Kennedy was assassinated leaving the anti war movement backing McGovern and the establishment backing Humphrey. The riots in 1968 all but ensured a defeat for the Democrats. The base never came together and Humprhey was unable to move towards the center. In 1972, Nixon had his base solidified while McGovern was running for the nomination. McGovern was not the establishment choice but won grassroots democrats. It took time for McGovern to solidify the base. Nixon on the other hand had the power of the Presidency and was able to move to the center and stay there. Nixon having his base solidly behind him coasted to reelection. In 1976, the aftermath of the Nixon resignation was still at play. Ford had to spend time solidifying the base after Reagan had decided to run in a primary against the incumbent. With the country trying to heal itself after Vietnam and Watergate scandal Ford spent precious time solidifying the base while the Democrats and Jimmy Carter played the middle and ran a change campaign. By 1980, America had become fed up with Carter. Ted Kennedy ran the spoiler in the primary against Carter. Carter couldn't hold onto his base and had to spend precious time during the convention trying to heal the wounds and splits within the party. Reagan won big. In 1984 Reagan had a solid base behind him and he was able to run from the center, There was no primary challengers and the party backed Reagan as did the rest of the country. Mondale didn't stand a chance even as he selected the first female running mate. With the good times of Reagan being passed on to Bush the elder, the base of the Republican party was behind Bush during the Primary. Bush was able to run for the middle of the electorate while Dukakis had to again heal his own party. 1992 was a year of discontent in the Republican party. The tax increases signed into law turned the party against Bush. Bush was challenged in the primary by Buchanan and eventually Ross Perot was able to stake out a claim in the middle. Clinton came in and won the contest with less a majority of the votes. So even as the Democrats were in disarray the Republicans were even worse, with Perot ensuring Bush would be unable to get to the middle of the electorate. In 1996, Dole had to solidify the Republicans. Dole was the establishment choice but not the grassroots choice. Clinton by 1996 had made his triangulation strategy a success, Clinton stayed in the middle and won the election. The 2000 race was very strange. Bush ended up winning against the incumbent party. The country had soured of the Clinton scandals and the country was indeed split between the two party candidates. In 2004, Bush was able to run from the middle. The Democrats was splintered and a weak John Kerry emerged. Kerry had to solidify his base and couldn't make up the ground required to take out an incumbent. In 2008, we had another change election very much like 1976. The country was tired of war and the Bush administration. The Democrats were unified in their hatred of Bush and it wouldn't have mattered who won the nomination the Democrats were going to vote lock step for the nominee. Obama was able to run his nuanced pragmatic campaign from the middle. Obama won in a landslide.

This brings us tot he current race. Now Obama is not being primaried so that is good for the incumbent. The issue is that Obama through action is still trying to solidify his base. The democrats are not happy with Obama's environmental record. In response Obama turned down the keystone project to appeal to the environmentalists. Obama is weaker when it comes to those under 30. In response Obama hails education investments and backs the Occupy movements. Obama was weaker against women. In response Obama picks a fight with Catholics and mandates contraception free for all with no religious exceptions. These three examples are proof Obama doesn't have his base solidly behind him. Obama by this point should be in general election and not running for his base. If Obama has to continue running to solidify his base rather than run towards the middle with his nuances and pragmatism, he will lose. As soon as the Republican is selected, the nominee will secure his base and start for the middle. If Obama hasn't already staked out the middle ground by the time the Republicans have made a choice, he may not get there. The longer Obama stays under 50% in his approval ratings the harder it will be for him to win a majority. Regardless of the pundits Obama is still in a lot of trouble, even if he is the odds on favorite.

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