March 2nd, 2012

Predicting Obama victory?

Robert Samuelson of Newsweek looks at the current perception that Obama’s got it all wrapped up. Not so fast, he says.

My personal opinion? Too early to tell a thing. Not only are the points Samuelson made decent ones, but the election results also could (and almost certainly will) be powerfully affected by the state of the economy close to November, the actual identity of the Republican nominee and how he performs in one-on-one debates with Obama, and myriad other as-yet-unknown events that will be occurring between now and the election.

Which is still eight months away, if you can believe that.

43 Responses to “Predicting Obama victory?”

  1. Conrad Says:

    I have a theory about predictions: If a person predicts “x” will occur, there’s about an 80% chance the person WANTS “x” to occur. With this in mind, I fully expect the overwhelming majority of MSM pundits to predict reelection for Obama.

  2. Conrad Says:

    As to the specific issue of Obama’s chances of beating Romney, Dick Morris had an interesting take on this a couple of days ago. He explained that Obama’s job approval is simply too low for him to be reelected. Historically, undecides break 80-20 against the incumbent, so an incumbent prez basically needs to be in the very high 40s to be reelected. Obama’s numbers are actually below any other incumbent who won reelection.

    Numbers aside, it seems fairly clear to me that the majority of Americans have lost faith in Obama’s leadership. Three years is long enough for people to see that the hard-left turn the Dems have tried to impose on America isn’t making things better. And I just don’t see any way for the fortunes of the U.S. to improve enough over the next eight months to get Obama reelected. In fact, it’s easier to imagine things getting much WORSE during that period (e.g, gas prices, another financial crisis, a foreign-policy disaster) than getting better.

    As for as the Republicans go, while the media is trying to lampoon them all as inept also-rans, the fact is that Romney (who will almost certainly win the nomination) looks like a pretty solid, competent and trustworthy alternative to Obama as a chief executive, to say nothing of the fact that his political ideology is about 100 times closer to the average American’s than does Obama’s.

  3. james Says:

    When the election comes around, the winner will be determined by the 20% of the population who pays no attention to politics until the last month of the election (or less).

    Thus, the predictions that are occuring are trying to predict how those people will vote. Taking a poll now is nearly useless, since those people aren’t paying attention.

    Such predictions can be fun, but they are tough. My own view is that Obama can’t win because he didn’t run on anything. Winning a second election after running on nothing the first time is nearly impossible, because he won with an infinite variety of expectations placed upon him (which he tied not to influence).

    A significant number of those expectations must have been disappointed, for the simple reason that they varied so much from person to person and group to group. it would be very difficult to overcome that, I think.

  4. Parker Says:

    It is too early to predict anything expect that it looks like a sure bet that there will be an election in November. However, despite the cheerleaders in the MSM and his huge warchest, I don’t see any sound reason to think BHO can win by a large margin. I think its going to be close one, a 2 point spread at most, and perhaps as close as 2000.

    “A significant number of those expectations must have been disappointed, for the simple reason that they varied so much from person to person and group to group. it would be very difficult to overcome that, I think.”

    Yep, blank slate Barry now has a record. The young Obama zombies of 2008 are waking up and realizing there are few well paying or even moderately well paying jobs to compensate for the tens of thousands of student loans they must repay. Blacks and union members will stick by him, but I suspect the enthusiasm has been dampened and the turn out for BHO will decline. The euphoria of 2008 now has the taint of dystopia. And, the really bad news for BHO is many of the independents are going to be asking themselves the Reagan question come October and the majority will answer “no”.


  5. uncleFred Says:

    It won’t be close. The state of the economy over the summer before the election tends to have more impact than in the last couple of months. It is a safe bet that gas prices will still be high in July and August and that impact has a lasting impression even if prices start falling in September.

    Despite efforts to adjust how things are counted the economy is not “improving” it is treading water and virtually flat. Unemployment (u3) was lower only because of a smaller workforce and because of the annual January changes in assumptions used to calculate the number. Gallup’s mid month number has bounced back to 9%. Housing was adjusted down for the last quarter, then revised up, and then down again by a lesser amount. It is very hard to determine what is actually happening there. New mortgages are slipping. Durable goods took a large hit since the beginning of the year, suggesting another contraction is coming over the next few months. Auto sales to retail customers are flat, the supposed improvement was due to channel stuffing by the manufacturers.

    The president approval ratings are underwater in all the swing states, and in the rust belt. This is when the Republicans are chewing on each other an there is no concerted reminder about Obama’s record. Buyers remorse is deep among those in the 20% in the middle that bought hope and change in 2008, they won’t be buying it again.

    Finally there is Obama’s love of attention. Throughout 2008 he made lavish promises. Throughout 2009 he said many foolish things. Throughout 2010 he scolded us on many topics. The promises proved empty, the scolding proved arrogant, and his foolishness is manifest. The campaign ads will be many, focused, and damning. He will not be able to run from his record.

    Barring an unforeseeable event, I have no doubt that he’ll lose. I wonder if he’ll manage to lose the rust belt, unlikely but if he does, the Democrats may lose the filibuster in the Senate.

  6. Mr. Frank Says:

    My concern is that Obama has so screwed things up in the economy that lots of people feel vulnerable. Real inflation is about 8%. Real unemployment is 15%. Many people have run out of unemployment benefits. Gas is $4 a gallon. A record number of people are on food stamps. Home foreclosures are continuing. When people are scared they want their mommie (nanny state) not their daddy. Hope and change will give way to I feel your pain.

  7. expat Says:

    Things will change as the whole Republican team gets behind the candidate and attacks Obama’s unkept promises. That has the potential to win over today’s undecideds and demoralize Obama’s base.

  8. Tesh Says:

    Seems to me that Obama’s base is more concerned with ABR (Anyone But Republicans) syndrome than really understanding their own guy. (And there are the hardcore base who really still want him to push further into the Left.) As long as there are those nasty, tricksy Repubs to hate, they don’t spend much time looking in the mirror. (This works for everyone, really, I’m just noting that we’re not likely to get through to his base.)

  9. Parker Says:


    I agree the economy is on skakey ground and the ‘recovery’ is all smoke and mirrors. However, Bernanke will continue to flush money into the financial system to balloon the equity markets to assure everyone their retirement accounts are healthy. The BLS will continue to massage the unemployment numbers and continue to issue a bogus CPI. Gas at the pump can be temporarily manipulated by a price freeze such as Nixon imposed in 1971 which I think BHO will not hesitate to reprise if the price at the pump broaches $4.50 nationwide. Furthermore, I would not be surprised to see another ‘stimulus’ like the one in February, 2008 with even larger checks sent out this time.

    No stone will be left unturned in the attempt to convince the public Obamanomics are working and just need more time. The MSM will trot out the usual pundits and experts to reinforce this message 24/7. I hope you are correct in your prediction, but right now it looks to me like it will be close. I would like to be wrong.

  10. effess Says:

    The above comments, taken together, is a terrific summary of the factors against his re-election. The unmentioned wild card involves what happens overseas (BHO’s foreign policy has been as bad as his domestic economic policy). For many of those who didn’t look past the grand rhetoric of 2008 and see the Ayers, Alinsky, Wright, “present!”, history — they have his now three-plus years as president to look at. It’ll be a thumbs down. Say, didn’t he “get” bin Laden and, in his first year as president, the Nobel Peace Prize?

  11. kaba Says:

    At about this same time in 2008 there was a growing public awareness that the economy wasn’t doing well and there would likely be troubled waters ahead. But it was mid-September to October that we learned how just how serious the mortgage and banking crisis would be and the threat that we faced.

    The issue or issues that will decide this election are still below the horizon. There are any number of possibilities; A serious reversal in Afghanistan; Iran, North Korea, or **** deciding this is the right time to act up; A European financial meltdown; a serious disruption in crude availability; or a Wall Street meltdown.

    There are far too many troubling balls in the air now. And Obama hasn’t given any indication that he is a skilled juggler.

  12. Parker Says:

    This is the let no crisis go to waste regime. A crisis off shore could be turned to BHO’s advantage as the public rallies around the CINC. I hope all stays relatively calm off shore.

    GM announced it is suspending production of the Volt and is sending 1,300 to the unemployment line. Romney should be talking about this non-stop tomorrow. Excluding an unpredictable event off shore; the number 1, 2, and 3 issues are the economy, the economy, and the economy.

  13. n.n Says:

    Not necessarily. Obamas principle advantage, as with other Democrats, is that he is willing to put forth promises of physical, material, and ego instant gratification, principally through redistributive and retributive change, but also through fraudulent and opportunistic exploitation. These promises have been offered time and again, and there are a progressive number of people who have recognize they lack a basis in reality. There may also be a progressive number of people who understand those promises are a principal sponsor of corruption. There is no way to know how many people are enlightened or experienced an epiphany; but, the election of 2010 should offer some evidence of the prevailing wind’s path.

    The greater unknown is how the so-called “social” issues will be considered. There is a majority of people who care for neither God nor nature’s order, and a large minority who reject the enlightened order (from which individual dignity is established). These people will vote for redistributive and retributive schemes, as well as laws and policies which delay deciding when dignity should be assigned to a human life.

    That said, appeals to emotion in order to extort consensus will always offer the left-wing ideologues a distinct advantage in a population progressively incapable of self-moderating behavior.

  14. reliapundit Says:











  15. LJ Says:

    I have a nagging worry that something major might “blow up”, either overseas or here…and frightened people grab at the first leadership they can find in such situations. As the incumbent, Obama is the first “leadership”. Concerns about economy, jobs, etc. would be set aside for concerns about safety. It doesn’t have to last very long to have a major impact in shifting the course of the electoral mindset.

  16. rickl Says:

    Mr. Frank Says:
    March 2nd, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    My concern is that Obama has so screwed things up in the economy that lots of people feel vulnerable. Real inflation is about 8%. Real unemployment is 15%. Many people have run out of unemployment benefits. Gas is $4 a gallon. A record number of people are on food stamps. Home foreclosures are continuing. When people are scared they want their mommie (nanny state) not their daddy. Hope and change will give way to I feel your pain.

    Precisely. And I don’t believe it was a “screwup” at all. His plan all along has been to force as many people as possible to become dependent on the government.

    That kind of dependency eventually crushes the human spirit. Look at the National Health Service in England. Three generations have grown up knowing nothing else. Today most British people can no more imagine privatized health care than they can imagine flying by flapping their arms.

  17. Sgt. Mom Says:

    Myself, I am worried about some of the other points touched on in comments above – but I am also worried about massive vote fraud in cities and precincts controlled by a corrupt Dem machine. I would hope that there are enough eyes watching, so that ‘oh, golly, here is this box of ballots that just didn’t get counted’ or, ‘bring in the busloads of fake voters to the polls before the day is out’ could not be carried out … but with a corrupted procedure for counting them, plus a corrupt judiciary to reject challenges, and a compromised media to look the other way? That’s why I’m afraid that he could squeak through to a victory at the polls in November.

  18. rickl Says:

    Lots of good comments on this thread.

    Parker & LJ:
    Yes, and I’ve also written about my worry that a foreign crisis could work to Obama’s advantage. It’s a natural tendency for people to rally around the leadership in times of crisis. I read somewhere recently that the phrase “don’t change horses in midstream” was popularized (though not coined) during Lincoln’s 1864 re-election campaign.

    Personally, I think this is Obama’s election to lose. All of the current Republican candidates are pathetic and distasteful in various ways. He has the MSM on his side, and far too many people still rely on them for their information. I spoke to two people yesterday who had never heard of Andrew Breitbart.

    At least the writers and editors of Pravda had the excuse that they had to print lies and propaganda for fear of being sent to the gulag. What is the American media’s excuse? They do it willingly.

    I am very pessimistic right now. I have a bad feeling about this election, between the treasonous MSM, organized vote fraud with a Justice Department that looks the other way, and the prospect of disruption and outright violence by OWS 2.0.

  19. rickl Says:

    Heh, Sgt. Mom. I was writing my comment while you posted yours. I’m a slow writer.

  20. abdul7591 Says:

    I think it’s important that we recognize these “predictions” – by mainstream media people and other liberal voices – that Obama has got it in the bag as little more than an attempt to break the spirit of people who are adamantly opposed to him. What the left is trying to do is psychologically wear us down, so that our will to resist will weaken in the face of an “inevitable” Obama re-election.

    At this point, I also don’t think it helps for conservatives to be constantly railing about the flaws of the Republican candidates. They are what we have right now, and notwithstanding the constant bitching from different quarters of the conservative right about the flaws of Romney, the flaws of Santorum, the flaws of Gingrich – blah, blah, blah – nothing dissuades me from the certainty that any one of them would be an infinitely better president than the leftist loser we’re stuck with now. Andrew Breitbart was correct in his assessment of the liberal left. They are not well-meaning, good-hearted but misguided people. They are hideously intolerant, sanctimonious creeps and Obama is the natural leader of that milieu. He is the patron saint of scumbags. Focus on that reality, people, and give Romney, Gingrich and Santorum a break once in a while. They are flawed but decent men, despite their past sins. Obama is simply flawed.

  21. Steve Says:

    Republican voters are clearly not happy with the current 4 candidates. Paul and Santorum are at opposite extremes socially. Gingrich is flaky. Romney seems to think being a blank page worked for Obama so why not for him? Personally that has made me doubt his record especially on Romneycare. Sure enough, Redstate has an article saying Romney pushed Obama to adopt the individual mandate in Obamacare. Romney needs to go.

  22. Parker Says:

    rickl says, “I am very pessimistic right now. I have a bad feeling about this election… ”

    I refuse to give in to my own doubts, and they are many, as life has taught me that a pessimistic attitude neither wins the fight or improves my morale. Be of good cheer. It ain’t over until its over.

    abdul7591 says, “At this point, I also don’t think it helps for conservatives to be constantly railing about the flaws of the Republican candidates. They are what we have right now, and notwithstanding the constant bitching from different quarters of the conservative right about the flaws of Romney, the flaws of Santorum, the flaws of Gingrich – blah, blah, blah – nothing dissuades me from the certainty that any one of them would be an infinitely better president than the leftist loser we’re stuck with now.”

    ABO! ABO! ABO! ABO! ABO! 😉

  23. Don Carlos Says:

    I believe Breitbart pointed out that the enemy is not Obama, it is the MSM.

  24. RandomThoughts Says:

    I agree with the voter fraud worries. The night Obama was elected I served as a poll inspector (something I’ve done for a number of elections). And I could not believe the vast (I mean VAST) number of voters who were not from the precinct, who had not voted before, and who literally wanted only to vote for the president–the ballot was two pages and they asked “Can I just vote for president and not the rest of the things on the ballot?” Yes, they were voting for Obama. My staff gave them provisional ballots–we gave out HUNDREDS of provision ballots in this very tiny precinct that night–and God Himself only knows how many were given to legit voters. I have serious doubts myself.

    If this is how it went down in my tiny little corner of the voting world, I can’t imagine the level of shenanigans that went on elsewhere.

  25. rickl Says:

    Don Carlos:
    Exactly. And I’ve said before that I blame the MSM for Obama’s election more than anything.

    There must be a special circle of Hell reserved for them.

    And that was before Obama and his Chicago thugs were ensconced in positions of power.

  26. newton Says:

    “When the election comes around, the winner will be determined by the 20% of the population who pays no attention to politics until the last month week of the election (or less).”

    There. FIFY.

  27. texexec Says:

    What does “FIFY” mean? May I ask a favor?

    Please help this old man understand what you are saying by spelling out what these letter combinations mean. A couple were used the other day (I think one of them was “SMOD” or something close to that.) that left the comments meaningless to me.

    I guess I could say “u r making it hard 4 me 2 understand u, m8.”

    Thanks in advance.

  28. Conrad Says:

    @ rickl:

    Yes, the MSM will be on Obama’s side, but consider:

    1. The MSM is always on the side of the Dem candidate. How did that work out for Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Mike Dukakis, Al Gore, and John Kerry? Media bias is a FACTOR, but it’s not everything. Having a candidate whose positions on the issues accords with that of the American electorate should be a significantly bigger factor.

    2. The MSM doesn’t have the hold it once did on public opinion because of the new media. That’s why something like the Tea Party could come into existence in 2009 when it never could a decade earlier.

  29. expat Says:


    Try this:

  30. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    As I see it, in the service of the Left and Obama & Co. the MSM has basically created and maintains an artificial, alternative reality*, in which unemployment is 8% not 15% or more, in which inflation is 2% not 8%, in which the economy is on the mend and not declining into a possible double dip recession, in which home prices are not still generally declining but show some improvement, in which no attention is paid at all to the possibly catastrophic effects of years of artificially low 0% interest rates and Obama’s massive–four or five times over– inflation of the money supply, or the ruinous effects, now and down the line, of a $17 trillion dollar debt that is planned to go astronomically higher, in which by the government’s new definition of “poverty” (i.e. “relative poverty”–you are now counted as “poor” if you have less material possessions, say, fewer cell phones, cars, or televisions, or less fancy living conditions than others, rather than the old definition of poor as lacking the minimum levels of food, clothing, or shelter)–there are so many poor people –47 million—that Obama must be re-elected so that he can continue and expand his policies in order to save and lift these desperately poor people out of poverty, an artificial, alternative reality in which Obama & Co.’s policy of cutting off vital irrigation water to the prime agricultural areas of central California ( in order to save a small population of supposedly endangered minnows) that turned this formerly very productive prime farming land into a new dust-bowl, and resulted in 40,000 people losing their jobs, is a good and rational decision, forcing Catholic institutions to pay for abortions and contraceptives is not a fundamental denial of their First Amendment rights under our Constitution, in which effectively banning all exploration for U.S. oil and gas and the resulting higher energy prices are good for the country, and the environment (and just forget about our economy and national security), in which hyper expensive electric cars that tend to blow up and that no one wants to buy are the wave of the future, and must be bought by us if we are to be good stewards of the Earth and environmentally aware and responsible citizens —and, all the while, “there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Obama’s opponents are lightweights, fools, racists, and knaves, who no rational person would or will vote for, and the polls publicized by the MSM show that Obama is still popular, and has a very good chance of winning a second term.

    *The cost to the MSM for their traitorous production of this increasingly obvious tissue of lies is the extraordinary decline of their audience and revenue for print and other media, whose viewers/readership has radically declined, and whose revenues—in the case of print journalism– have reportedly dropped an astonishing 60% since 2008.

  31. texexec Says:

    Thanks, expat. I’ve bookmarked that site and will now even be able to understand what’s being said on Twitter!

  32. T Says:


    “FIFY” is “fixed it for you”
    “IMO” is “in my opinion”
    “IMHO” is “in my humble opinion”
    “ROFLMAO” is “rolling on the floor laughing my a$$ off”
    Likewise “LOTFL” (“lying on the floor laughing”

    Note: these last two are often accompanied by the announcement that one owes the reader a new keyboard (imagine drinking morning coffee and sputtering laughter over one’s computer).

    I don’t know SMOD.

    This ought to at least get you started.

  33. T Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,

    No disagreement here. I’d only add that I think is a product of both constructing a narrative and abject unfamiliarity with the facts on the media’s part.

    I say unfamiliarity because oftentimes the “facts” that the media types espouse demonstrate that they have no understanding of the problem/the subject on which they report. I have never seen another profession which tolerates (and rewards) ineptitude and ignorance the way the MSM does, and this isn’t something recent. Walter Duranty is only a more flagrant case of this very problem.

  34. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Not only has the MSM unmasked itself and destroyed it credibility, but the whole, formerly widely trusted and relied on statistical apparatus of the U.S. government has sustained what may be a mortal blow and may, in the future, be no more trusted than the Communist bureaus that churned out all those phony “statistics” in the heyday of the U.S.S.R.

    T–I, too, have always been amazed at how some snot-nosed kid straight out of college, or some other ignoramus–usually without any deep knowledge and learning, particular technical, subject knowledge, training, or skill, instantly becomes– by virtue of proclaiming himself or being titled a “reporter” or. better yet, a”journalist”–a universal expert, and able to analyze, sort truth from fiction, and pronounce judgement on every subject under the sun, no matter how complex, abstruse, or technical.

  35. rickl Says:

    SMOD: An End To Politics As Usual. Forever.

  36. texexec Says:

    Thanks to you as well, Rickl.

    MGAGTIRC. (My grandkids are gonna think I’m really cool)

  37. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    P.S.—In general I view most journalists-heirs, after all, of Walter Duranty– as having sold their souls to the DeviI for a byline, an expense account, and entre to the right parties, and as no more trustworthy or to be believed that were the U.S.S.R.’s professional propagandists, employed to prop up the regime by laying out each day’s or week’s ”party line” for the masses to parrot—or else.

    I find it particularly annoying and infuriating when such “commentators” and “journalists” tell me—however so subtly–how and what I should think or how I should behave and, especially ludicrous and disgusting when they puff themselves up, and proudly bloviate about their vaunted “journalistic integrity” and “professional ethics,” when the “truth on the ground” demonstrates so clearly that they are either mistaken, have twisted or deliberately left out key elements of the truth, or that they flat out lie through their teeth.

  38. NeoConScum Says:

    Dick Morris is an egomaniacal twerp. That said, his prediction re: The Boy King’s defeat bightened my day this week.

    Speaking of His Infantile Majesty, I see at Drudge that Obama Motors has announced suspension of production of the ObamaVolt and the laying off of 1,300 Obama Unionists. I weep…Nope, just a speck’o’dust in my eye.

  39. Ymarsakar Says:

    It will also be affected by the lack of absentee ballots for the military, not to mention the number killed, which also helps the Demoncrat cause.

    Then there are the dead just waiting to be voted in for the Democrat fiefdom called Chicago. Other graveyards will also be raised up above so that a Light Shines Upon him from Above.

  40. rickl Says:

    Wolla Dalbo:
    I have to reiterate my earlier comment:

    At least the writers and editors of Pravda had the excuse that they had to print lies and propaganda for fear of being sent to the gulag. What is the American media’s excuse? They do it willingly.

  41. expat Says:

    They are afraid of being left off Michelle’s guest list.

  42. davisbr Says:

    Just keep watching the price at the pump; that is determinative of how people who otherwise pay absolutely no attention whatsoever to politics at any time (but still feel an obligation to vote), will break when it comes time to do their “civic duty”.

    Less determinative as a predictor, is the number of unemployed. No, not that stupid unemployment percentage that the administration lackies parade out when it dips a bit …but rather the actual number of unemployed who don’t show up in the statistics; young folk who can’t get a job anywhere, people who have ran out their UI benefits, people who have given up looking entirely, parents who’s adult children have had to move back in so they at least have a roof over their heads and warm place to sleep …no doubt you’ve all got some additions to that list.

    There’s actual anger out there. It may be inappropriately directed and focused at times, but the one person they know absolutely hasn’t helped …by keeping gas prices high, by not drilling, by extravagent, multiple vacations, by smoozing with the glamorous at public expense, by promises not kept, by treating everyone as idiot shmucks …those angry people put a face to that.

    They came out last time. They’ll stay home this time. But if they vote (granted, often they do not), they won’t vote stupid this time.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    The lies simply aren’t working, and won’t work.

  43. ELC Says:

    @ Wolla Dalbo March 3rd, 2012 at 9:06 am: Ditto to all that!

    @ Wolla Dalbo March 3rd, 2012 at 9:37 am: I was writing about that almost ten years ago:

    “…. Think back over any given year of your life: how many editorials did you read in the local paper, or a paper with a national readership? They told you what was right, and what was wrong, and what should be done, and what should not be done, on every subject from the economy and taxes to roadwork and asphalt; from medicine and plastic surgery to ‘global’ ‘warming’ and carbon dioxide; and, from recreation and baseball to war and military tactics — no?…”

    The Blog from the Core – Fri. 07/25/03 08:53:37 AM

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