Michael Barone has joined the parade of conservative pundits who say President Obama is not nearly as likely to be defeated in 2012 as some of his right-wing detractors think.
Barone isn’t saying that Obama is a sure winner in the next election, but he WARNS that last month’s midterm voting is not necessarily a harbinger of things to come.
Obama has obviously figured out that Americans prefer to see their president describe the glass as half full rather than half empty. That’s a good lesson for him, and for Republicans as well, especially those who believe that the Obama Democrats’ shellacking in the midterms means that Obama himself will definitely lose in 2012.
History should provide some caution for these folks. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush saw their parties fare pretty well in their midterm elections. But they were defeated for re-election anyway.
In contrast, pundits thought that Ronald Reagan’s Republicans took a shellacking in 1982 (actually, about half their losses resulted from redistricting) and Bill Clinton’s Democrats definitely did in 1994. But both the 40th and 42nd presidents were resoundingly re-elected, carrying 49 and 31 states.
Several factors will likely work less strongly against Obama in 2012 than against the Obama Democrats in 2010. Turnout will be different, for one thing. We may see again the record turnout of blacks we saw in 2008. Young people who pretty much shunned the polls in the midterms may turn out and vote…
Meanwhile, the latest Gallup Daily Tracking Poll SHOWS that more Americans now approve of Obama’s job performance than disapprove.
At this point in Ronald Reagan’s presidency, disapproval of his job performance was 17 percentage points higher than the approval rate.