Is Barack Obama already doomed to become a one-term President? If a poll conducted by Doug Schoen is any indication, President Obama will have a lot of work to do convincing the American people that he deserves a second term.
Even worse for Barack Obama, in a theoretical matchup, former President George W. Bush beats Obama slightly at 48 percent to 43 percent.
The poll does not seem to measure how Obama would do against a single person who could constitutionally run against him in 2012. But, in a silver lining of sorts, the poll shows Obama winning if the Tea Party were to become an active third political party, running a major, big-name candidate.
There are a couple of takeaways one can have from this poll.
First, the strategy of blaming former President Bush for the problems besetting the United States is not working. President Obama can claim that he is only trying to clean up the mess bequeathed him all he wants. The sad (for him) fact is that, given the choice, the American people would reelect President Bush to clean up the mess Barack Obama made.
Second, the situation that President Obama finds himself in is as bad as bad can be, but not insurmountable. Barack Obama is hated for the bad economy and despised for ramming through health care reform. But a Republican House and perhaps Republican Senate could provide the means for his salvation.
After a series of mutual threat displays and cod-piece measuring with the Republicans, Obama could get down to compromising. He can agree to extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, legislative fixes for health care reform (so long as they are not called “repeal and replace”), some spending cuts, some entitlement reform, and perhaps a few other things.
Then, by 2012, if the economy improves, if a national security or foreign policy disaster does not happen, Obama can coast to reelection.
It worked for Bill Clinton, after all.
Sadly, indications are that President Obama will choose a decidedly different strategy to deal with a Republican House and perhaps Senate too. Obama will veto every attempt to cut taxes and spending, reform health care reform, and anything else he doesn’t like. He will attempt to use wedge issues, such as immigration reform, to divide Republicans.
In short, the next two years will be ones of political turmoil and rancor. And then President Obama will run against a “do nothing” Republican Congress.
It worked for Harry Truman, after all.
The problem is, whomever the Republicans pick for a candidate will run against a “do nothing” Democratic President.
2012 promises to be an election to remember.
Source: Poll: Most Want Obama Fired In 2012, Paul Bedard, US News and World Report, October 27th, 2010