From guest columnist, The Hippie Conservative:
If you’re a confirmed democrat, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the weak Republican field of candidates. You’ve also most likely heard that the front runner Mitt (Williard) Romney, is not enjoying the full throated support of the Christian right that makes up a large part of the Republican Party. Assuming that you believe that Fox News is populated by xenophobes, the odds are you really haven’t heard much to make you believe that Barack Obama is in any trouble at all in this fall’s 2012 election.
You would be dead wrong.
In fact, it’s hard to find a single constituency that President Obama is doing as well with as he was in 2008. Liberals are disenchanted with his non confrontational style, moderates are disappointed with his hard left turn on social issues, fiscally conservative Dems and independents are shocked by his spending habits, Jews are down-right scared of his Mid-East foreign policy, blacks expectations were set far too high, whites are leaving in droves and Hispanics are still waiting in the wings struggling with immigration issues vs. their other beliefs and concerns.
In this piece, I’ll try to set the stage for what you should expect this fall. Keep in mind though; fall is an eternity away in the political world. Gaffes can be made, situations can and will change. What I’m going to give you is a snapshot in time as I see it.
Of all the problems that President Obama is facing in this reelection, none is as troublesome for him as the economy and gas prices. I tell people ad nauseam that Barack has two numbers he had better fear-8 and 3. By that I mean 8% unemployment (no president since FDR has won with unemployment over 7.2%) and $3.00 a gallon gas. When President Obama took office, he made the mistake of soothsaying that the unemployment rate would not go over 8% if he were granted his $787 billion dollar stimulus program. (It’s been above 8% for more months than any other presidency since Roosevelt) It’s not so much his prediction that’s going to get him in trouble, as the reality that things have gotten worse, not better under his watch. (Unemployment was at 7.3% when he took office.) The blame game is easy to play (and certainly he will,) however, not everyone buys into excuse making, especially those who have lost their jobs. When people are suffering, they want results, not excuses. Gas prices are another major problem. Older people remember when an appeasement policy in the Middle East along with market meddling under Jimmy Carter lead to higher gas prices. Younger people only know that these prices are killing their pocketbook. Gas prices were at $1.85 when Barack took office and will certainly be over $3.00 and maybe over $4.00 by November. Again the Dems will try to pass the blame, but the Obama foreign policy of supporting the Arab Spring and his anti hydrogen rhetoric will certainly be pointed out as a cause by the Reps.
On a recent trip to a friend’s Jewish wedding, I found myself sitting at a table with 10 Jews of mixed gender and age. I was under strict orders from my wife to not discuss politics (This is a standing order for me at functions since the “Open House Incident”). However, without any prodding by me, the conversation turned to Israel and The Obama Administration’s policy on the Arab Spring. One elder man commented that “If Obama gets 4 more years, there will be no more Israel.” The entire table nodded in agreement. President Obama has been losing the Jewish vote steadily since his election. It’s no secret that Barack and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had some friction over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, borders, and the handling of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The lost votes are bad enough, but add to that the influence that the Jewish community has both in the media and the Democratic Party and a real problem immerges.
On white folks, it gets complicated.
Candidate Obama saw a surprising amount of support from the white community in 2008. White males, like myself, voted for Barack at about 41%. Before Obama, no Democrat since Jimmy Carter had earned more than 38 percent of the white male vote. , white females went even higher. The most recent poll numbers I’ve seen has President Obama at a mere 36% for white voters. Clearly the shine has come off the apple. The reasons vary but here are some of the ones I’ve been hearing; White people love to show how far they’ve come in conquering their past racial failings. Obama gave them the perfect chance to demonstrate that at a time when their frustration with Bush and the Republicans was at the peak. Now, they view it as a job done and no longer feel the need. Also, they once viewed Candidate Obama as a man who shared his white and black heritage equally. From the “Beer Summit” on, they have come to the opinion (fairly or not) that President Obama is far more concerned with how he’s viewed by the black community than the white. Articles like this are reaffirming this belief.
Now, by the poll numbers. In a head to head against Mitt Romney, (his most likely foe), Barack comes out within the margin of error with some polls showing either Mitt with a slight lead or Barack. The ominous number for the Obama reelection effort however is the undecided (about 10%). These people historically do not go with the incumbent. Think of it like this; we’re already in a relationship with President Obama and the question is whether or not you want to continue this relationship. If your spouse or boss responded to that question with “undecided”, would you consider that a good thing? Certainly not. I generally view Republicans as having a disadvantage in the Main Stream Media, therefore, when elections come around they stand to gain ground when their message reaches people who have only heard the MSM opinion. Media outlets have to run their ads by law. This can’t bode well for the Dems who have had a lock on most messaging outside of Fox News.
The situation is still fluid and many things can happen. A split vote due to an independent run by either Donald Trump or Ron Paul could throw a wrench in the works for the Reps and all but guarantee a win for President Obama. War, economics or a terrorist attack can change things as well as scandals. But as of now, I would have to bet heavily on a Republican win. Perhaps a good tactic for the Dems would be to point out that with the Senate race leaning towards the Republicans taking control (23 of the 33 seats up for grabs are Democrat seats), winning the presidency would mean absolute power for Republicans. The American people historically do not like absolute power and embrace divided government. I wouldn’t count on them using that tact though, since absolute power is always the goal of either side. It’s still 9 months until the election, so hold on people…its’ going to get nasty.
The Hippie Conservative blogs at http://thehippieconservative.blogspot.com/