Saturday, September 15, 2012
Good Chance For Barack
Assessing Obama’s Prospect for 2012
President Obama faces tough bid for re-election. The nation’s economic outlook is considerably darker than during his first campaign for the White House, but one of his biggest advantages is that he has a variety of paths to victory in key battleground states. He is unlikely to repeat his margin of 365 electoral votes of 2008. But he only needs 270 to win a second term, allowing him to lose a handful of states that he carried four years ago and still be victorious.
The president’s disapproval ratings, in addition to the large number of Americans who say the country is on the wrong track, have stirred serious alarm about Mr. Obama’s prospects. The president’s central argument for re-election is built around fairness and pushing back against the assertion that he is not up for the job and could not improve economic circumstances in a second term.
New York Times polling guru Nate Silver, in his first 2012 presidential election forecast, gives President Barack Obama a clear advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney heading into the summer.
If the election were held in very near future, Silver writes, Obama would have an 80 percent chance of winning re-election. But things could change quickly — Silver's model projects that Obama has a 60 percent chance of winning in November.
Some of Silver's model's key projections: One, if the election were held in very near future, Obama would win approximately 300 electoral votes to Romney's 238. He would win the popular vote by a 50.5 to 47.9 percentage. Two, in the November 6 forecast, Silver's model has Obama winning roughly 291 electoral votes to Romney's 247. Three, popular vote in the November 6 model: Obama 50.5, Romney 48.4. Four, Together, there's about a 5 percent chance either Romney or Obama could theoretically win the Electoral College and lose the popular vote.
If inflation averages what it has for the past 13 quarters; and if economic growth picks up a bit from where it has been this past quarter (January-March 2012), the equation predicts that Obama would receive 52.5 percent of the two-party vote, and be 85 percent sure of getting a majority. If inflation worsens over the next 6 months, and the economy grows more slowly than it has in any of the past four quarters, the prediction is that he receives only 49.0 percent, yielding only 34 percent certainty of attaining a majority of the two-party popular vote.
So a lot depends on what happens between April and November. An economic forecast of this election ranges from a fairly solid victory for Obama (although somewhat narrower than his win in 2008) to a close loss (Ford’s loss to Carter in 1976). But the best current forecast is for a cliffhanger Obama victory, a bit less narrow than Nixon over Humphrey in 1968 (or than Gore’s “victory” over Bush in 2000).
Mr. Obama held the edge, 45 percent to 40 percent. Mr. Obama's approval rating two years into his term (49 percent) was - Presidents Reagan and Clinton. (President George W. Bush had a 59 percent approval rating at the midpoint in his first term.)
And as Time's Michael Scherer , even those who disagree with Mr. Obama tend to like him - a crucial factor in winning the independents who broke from the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. The fact that 84 percent of Americans (according to an Associated Press poll last month) call Mr. Obama a likeable person speaks to his advantage among the casual voters who may not go to the polls in a midterm year but will cast ballots in 2012.
Then there's the prospect of a strong third-party candidate making waves in the general election. If the Tea Party backs a challenger to a Republican nominee it sees as too moderate, the conservative vote could be split, making Mr. Obama's path to victory that much easier. Without Ross Perot, it's worth remembering, Mr. Clinton might never have been president.
Also important is the power of incumbency. As Mark McKinnon and Myra Adams , "In the last 56 U.S. presidential elections, 31 have involved incumbents; 21 of those candidates have won more than one term." Incumbents have the advantage of being a known personality - and even voters not entirely sold on a president tend to favor the known over the unknown.”
Is the Stock Market Voting for Obama? “The close relationship between President Obama’s chances of re-election and the level of the S&P 500 appear to suggest that the stock market favors a Democrat as president,” says Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Toronto-based Capital Economics.
Dales is convinced Obama will get re-elected as long as the S&P 500 remains above 1200 (the index would have to drop 15% from current levels to hit that mark). If history is any indicator, the market isn’t likely to lose all of its gains through the rest of the year. The S&P 500 is up 12% this year. And in 13 of the last 15 presidential elections, the S&P 500 has rallied during the final seven months of those years, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac.
Measurements of chances of repetition by different scales are endorsing his reelection. 365 electoral votes in 2008 can go down to 270 to win. On economic (inflation condition) parameters, he is winning. Statics proves incumbent president has more than 66% of winning prospect. Stock market indicators are supporting his win. Therefore, if his election chances was bright in 2008, Barack has good chances of repetition.
(Views are personal and based on different sources)