Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Obama is still a shoe-in for re-election in 2012

Despite significant anxiety about the economy, I think Obama is still a shoe-in for re-election in 2012. I think most people recognize that a lot of what is going on in the economy is simply beyond the control of Obama, Congress, the Fed, Wall Street, Big Business, or anybody else and simply a bad thing that we all have to slog through, and of course that the bad economy is mostly something that Obama inherited. Most importantly, I think most people would prefer a Democrat with a bias towards a better social safety net in bad times. And, to his credit, Obama's team has had a strong pro-business bias even if their rhetoric at times speaks more loudly to his traditional not-so-pro-business liberal "base."
The Intrade Prediction Market is currently bidding a 50.1% chance of Obama's re-election, even as Gallop is reporting only 43% job approval.
My personal view is that Obama is taking a fairly stridently anti-business tone to appeal to his base right now, long before the election, to shore up that base, but come spring and early summer next year he will shift back to a very pro-business, pro-economic growth tone to appeal to moderate Americans, especially the center-right who he really needs to make in-roads with due to weakness in his base that he simply can't re-capture due to their profound sense of excessive expectations back in 2008.
Intrade currently indicates the Mitt Romney has a 67.2% chance of being the Republican nominee. He's probably the pick of the litter for Republicans, but I don't see that voters in the general election will see enough in him to dump Obama, provided that Obama "stays the course" and lets the economy incrementally improve over the next eleven months.
This election will be Obama's to lose.


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