A Gallup survey on President Obama’s approval rating in 2010 (available here) headlines his high approval rating in Hawaii, and 9 other states, however, the balance fall below 50%, with 20 states listed as average: approval between 44 and 48%, the balance of the 30 states are at 43% and below, giving an outline of the possible 2012 presidential outcome. (See Map below)
Should these approval rankings stay at present levels, and translate into 2012 Electoral College results, Obama, the incumbent would garner 195 Electoral College votes, needed to remain in office: 270
(See hypothetical 2012 Electoral College Map Below from www270towin.com)
Additionally, the level of Electoral College votes will change with the 2010 census, as districts are redrawn and certain states having lost population will also lose seats in the Electoral College. The New York Times has an interactive map on Electoral College votes here (See Map Below).
In this scenario: Texas gains 4, Arizona 1, Utah 1, Nevada 1, Georgia and South Carolina 1 each, and Florida 2, or a pickup of 11 for the unnamed Republican, on the incumbent side: Washington gains 1 for the incumbent: The total now becomes: 196 to 343 (R). The States that lose Electoral College vote are: Iowa, Missouri and Louisiana (all minus 1), Michigan and Ohio minus 3, for a total of minus 6 for the Republican or 337. States in the Obama approval hypothetical that lose seats are: Pennsylvania 1, New Jersey 1, New York 2 and Massachusetts one, or a net loss of 5, giving the incumbent a total of 191 Electoral College votes.
Given the current state of Foreign Affairs, (Middle East), the threat of 26% inflation in food and clothing in 2011, and the immediate rise of the price per gallon of gasoline, added to a stagnant unemployment rate near 9%, it is somewhat conservative to use the Gallup 2010 approval as part of a hypothetical projection. Given the results, it would behoove the nation to look carefully at any and all Republican Candidates as it is, based on the above scenario, probable that one of them would be the 45th President of the United States.
As the GOP Presidential candidate field has also been hypothetical based on who may run, or who has hinted at a run, it is unlikely that the nation will have a clear idea of who the candidates will be prior to possibly June of 2011. There is more to weigh in this particular instance for anyone who is remotely interested in running than whom they may or may not be able to best, as the 45th President will inherit a scenario that appears Carteresque and one that might have made Ronald Reagan take pause. That said, the candidates that do emerge will have a clear understanding of just how desperate the situation may be, and how Reagan, although elected twice in what can only be considered landslides, (given the fact that he took Massachusetts twice), lost popularity while putting the nation back together over a 3 year period. It goes without saying that these candidates will have to put political ambitions aside, and have a pure desire to right the course of the nation, and the knowledge to do so, as in an individual who has had the experience of Governing a State, as opposed to an individual who has been invested in the legislative side of government.
Mike Huckabee, an increasingly potential GOP 21012 candidate, cautioned recently that Obama would be difficult to beat, but not impossible, and he is right – it will be the candidate chosen by the GOP and GOP leaning independents (and possibly some Democrats) that will either instill confidence in a weary public, or not. Additionally, as Obama’s campaign manager uses the Massachusetts model of “How to elect Deval Patrick” and apply that to the Obama campaigns, one must watch for a third party candidate (i.e. Trojan Horse). Suggest reading treatments of the 2010 Gubernatorial race narrowly won by Deval Patrick over Republican Charlie Baker (by 2 points), with the Democrat turned Independent, Tim Cahill, increasing Patrick’s chances which ultimately gave the Governor with the lowest possible approval rating in Massachusetts a second term.