Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2012 – Obama versus the Republican Potential Candidates: Timing and History and the State of the Presidents Poll numbers - Analysis

Second Term? Obama and the Numbers - image itmakessense blog

Rasmussen Polling Reports on the 11th Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, that the President’s “strongly approve” had fallen to a low of 19% - with 39% strongly disapproving. The pollster uses answer options approximating strongly approve, somewhat approve, somewhat disapprove and strongly disapprove; the overall approval rating (or disapproval) is a blend of the strongly/somewhat responses. It is with these types of numbers that the President and his campaign for reelection must go forward with in 2012. In addition, a recent Gallup poll on the President’s 2010 overall approval state by state, showed a large gap in approval, with ten states giving the President approval ratings over 50% Those 10 states include: DC, Hawaii, MD, NY, DE, MA, RI, CA, CT and IL. Therefore, the question remains, is Barack Obama electable to a second term, and part of the answer lay in the polling numbers, the balance in the overall health of the economy, the nation’s debt, and personal finances as it pertains to the rising costs of essentials such as food and fuel. Should there not be a vast improvement in the later, the old adage “The buck stops here”, will apply to Obama in his quest for a second term. Although pundits and media are downplaying the ability of the GOP to field a candidate “strong” enough to appeal to a majority of voters, it is not without some historical context, as the same scenario was played out prior to Carter’s reelection. Another historical note regarding the timing of announcements of intent to seek the office by either the GOP or DNC; prior to 2007, announcements of intent to run for President came mid-way to late in the year preceding from June-July through August, with debates held in October.

Therefore, the timing of some of the GOP candidates who have contractual obligations that would prevent them from formally announcing a candidacy until June or July of 2011 would not be out of the norm, historically speaking. Those candidates would be Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump.
As of today, the field of potential and on the verge of announcing includes: (Announced, or Exploratory Committee Announced) Tim Pawlenty (Governor of Minnesota), Rick Santorum (Former Senator PA) and Mitt Romney (former Governor of Massachusetts) (In the top tier polling to date). Those semi-announced, with contracts noting a June decision are: Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee (former Governor of Arkansas) and Sarah Palin (former Governor of Alaska). In the top tier of polling to date, but yet to announce, New Gingrich, former speaker of the House. Other potential candidates include Michelle Bachman, Congressional Representative, Minnesota, Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Should even half of the above referenced decide to run for the highest office, it would allow the American voting Public an opportunity to see a variety of Conservative think, the majority of those running strong fiscal conservatives with a record either in business and or government, with these announcements coming mid to late summer of 2011, and should the state of the economy not improve drastically in a very short time, those on the debate stage will garner a great deal of interest from the general public, there is, as of now, a greater interest in this election, than in any other personally witnessed in over four decades. The most interest in an opposition campaign camping being the 1980 general election between former President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Carter, who faced a challenge from Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy in the primary, also added to the drama. That election was also economically driven.
When one looks at the options objectively, it will be the strong fiscal conservatives with a record proving that they were able to put a business/state in the black, social issues, or hot topic issues, will not play as large a role in this election as some pundits believe.

From this perspective, it will be those candidates who have a cross-ideological fiscal policy appeal, with the additional attribute of proving an ability to negotiate across the political spectrum, taking party politics out of the mix. With that in mind, the field narrows to the following: Donald Trump, who has a clear advantage in business, also has given financially to candidates from both sides of the aisle and will not shy from making though decisions when it comes to either party, Mike Huckabee, as the former Governor of Arkansas (2 and ½ terms), also left the State of Arkansas in fine fiscal shape, and took “heat” from the GOP conservatives for crossing the aisle in a mainly Democrat controlled state in order to get things done, Sarah Palin, although possibly until Trump, the one potential candidate the media chose to denigrate daily, also brought the Alaskan fiscal house in order, while working both sides of the aisle, and to take it a step further, outing and prosecuting top Republican’s in the State. Finally, Mitt Romney, who only served one term in Massachusetts before running for the office of the Presidency in 2008, also had put Massachusetts in the black, no mean feat; when one consider the makeup of the State Legislature as possibly the bluest state in the Union. Romney had to cross the aisle and make compromises in order to accomplish anything. Although he is facing criticism for his health care plan, which the national plan is modeled after, one must understand that Romney’s concept had been “hijacked” by the Massachusetts Legislature and – the rest as they say is a history of mandated coverage and the usual shenanigans that has turned this program into a budget millstone.

As to timing, it would behoove those who are seriously considering a run at the Presidency to hold until a later date to announce, giving the public a respite from the constant campaigning that wearies the public, there will be those voters that will vote strict party lines, while there will be those that make up their minds in mid to late 2012, somewhere between September and October. In other words, there is more than enough time available in order to run campaigns, without starting too early, in need of billions of dollars in campaign donations from a populace that will have wearied of giving just another $5.00 to any candidate from any party.
The independent candidate: In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump who has announced his intent to run as a Republican, noted that he would run as an independent should he fail to win the GOP nomination.
Trump should be aware that the model for Barack Obama’s success is based on David Axelrod’s assessment of the campaign methodology used by one Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. David Axelrod, mentor to both men, watched the Massachusetts elections very closing in 2010. In the end run, Patrick, who had dismal poll numbers, pulled out a win by 1 percentage point, to Republican Charles Baker, with the aid of an independent candidate, Tim Cahill (a Democrat turned Independent just prior to the election). This is, of course, a gamble on anyone’s part, and depends a great deal on who the players on the proverbial chess board are: however, in a scenario with two of the aforementioned GOP potentials, sans Trump, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, either man, now polling is capable of besting the President. Trump, given another two months of polling and exposure, appears able to compete with the current “crop”, given a Wall Street Journal poll that tied him with Huckabee. However, should Trump prevail and the GOP not put their full support behind Trump, and should Trump run as an independent, the vote would be split, among those who would vote Republican under any circumstances and those that would vote for an independent fiscal conservative candidate, the balance of those who would vote a pure Democrat ticket under any circumstances would allow Barack Obama, despite all odds, a second term. However, there is no historical basis to defuse that theory, and the last election in which an Independent candidate truly factored, was the 1992 Presidential race between President George H Bush and William Jefferson Clinton, Perot as the Independent was pulling votes from across the spectrum, and managed 18 plus percent of the vote, after he announced he would no longer be seeking the office.

However, Donald Trump, as it appears now, as a GOP candidate, should have little problems in effectively competing within the GOP field as well as picking up crossover votes from both independents and Democrats. The fact that the media is picking up mainly on the issue of Obama’s birth certificate, which Trump has appeared to embrace and or more to the point, questioned, along with others in the U.S. who are called “birthers” by the media, belies the man’s ability to run business empires successfully, while connecting with the average voter. The fact that Trump’s life is a virtual open book, leaves both the Obama Campaign and the media with little to attack, without that one issue, which, may resonate with a percentage of voters, but it is the other “Trumpisms” that have caught the attention of the majority: his no holds barred, tell it like it is approach to immigration, (Troops on the border, decide each individual that is in the U.S. now on a case by case basis), his stance towards China, his stance on going to war, righting a nation and then paying out of pocket (taxpayers) without getting anything in return (oil); all of the aforementioned resonate with voters across the spectrum. It is to the peril of those who are hanging their hats on one issue with this particular multi-faceted candidate that may be the ticket to the nomination and the Presidency.

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