The Washington Examiner’s Byron York relates poll statistics that are as awful as awful can be for President Barack Obama and his prospects of getting reelected. With one exception, President Obama has lost heavily among all demographics.
“Start with voters who call themselves independents. Obama won 52 percent of them in 2008; now, according to Gallup, he is at 42 percent. Obama’s party as a whole fared even worse among independents in the midterms, losing them to Republicans by 19 points. If Obama does anywhere near that badly in 2012, he’ll lose.
“Next, women. In 2008, Obama won 56 percent of female voters. Today, he’s at 49 percent. If that number doesn’t improve, he’ll be in deep trouble. (Obama is also down with men, from 49 percent in 2008 to 44 percent now.)
“Even younger voters, a key part of Obama’s coalition, are peeling away. In ’08, Obama won 66 percent of voters 18-29 years of age. Now, he’s at 58 percent. That might seem pretty good, but not when you consider his deterioration among other age groups. Obama has dropped 5 percentage points among voters in and around middle age, and 8 percent with voters above 65. If those trends continue, he’ll lose.
“Then there are white voters. In ’08, Obama won 43 percent of whites. Now, he’s at 37 percent — a dangerously low number for his re-election hopes. He won 67 percent of Hispanic voters in 2008; now, he’s at 58 percent. Even support among black voters, a bedrock for Obama, has ticked downward; after winning 95 percent of blacks in ’08, he’s now at 89 percent.
“Just one group has stuck with Obama through it all. In ’08, he won 58 percent of people with graduate degrees. Now, he’s at 59 percent. It appears that academic types will be with Obama always, but they’re not enough.”
Of course, this all points to President Obama facing a shellacking at the polls if the election were held today. Fortunately for Obama, the election is just shy of two years away. Aside from hoping that the Republicans in Congress mess up or that Republicans choose a really awful candidate to run against him, there are some things that the President can do to improve his chances in 2012.
First, he can cooperate with congressional Republicans in enacting new measures to fix the economy. That means not only extending the Bush tax cuts, but getting ahead of the Republicans by proposing his own tax simplification program. Easing the burden on complying with the tax code would be just as important as lowering tax rates.
Second, reform health care reform. It has become obvious to anyone that the health care reform package passed earlier this year has been a disaster of biblical proportions. Obama can blame the disaster on Nancy Pelosi, who has vowed in any case to make the President hold the line on liberal orthodoxy. Pelosi has given Obama an opportunity to prove that he can be independent.
Third, reform entitlements. Perhaps, just as only Nixon can go to China, only Obama can rein in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. He can claim that he is doing it out of “fairness,” a favorite word for liberal Democrats.
Fourth, engineer some kind of foreign policy win. This can be tricky, since events overseas have a tendency to develop in unexpected ways. Afghanistan can become a running sore for Obama, just as Iraq did not George W. Bush. Korea or Iran can blow up in his face in a spectacular manner, though solving (or at least containing) either would be to his credit.
Fifth, push a new initiative from out of left field with broad appeal. An out-of-the-box example would be to build a settlement on the Moon. This would be a reverse of stated policy, but that policy has been a loser. Something like that would burnish the President’s credentials as a future-oriented executive worthy of reelection.
Is President Obama capable and nimble enough to do what it takes to get reelected? So far the evidence has been lacking. But there is still time, though only a little, before the election cycle closes in and freezes everything in place.
Source: Obama’s poll numbers point to his defeat in 2012, Byron York, Washington Examiner, November 26th, 2010