Does Obama Have A Chance? Examining President Barack Obama’s Prospects for Reelection in 2012

President Barack Obama
 
Intrade.com has been predicting a slightly better than fifty percent chance (59% as of February 7, 2012) that President Barack Obama will win reelection in November of 2012. The challenges facing his opposition are numerous and significant, but Obama should not consider himself a guaranteed winner at this point.
 
President Obama has routinely leveled criticism against Wall Street for “shadow” practices that are out of the public eye and have tremendously negative affects on the American Economy (mortgage meltdown, insider trading, etc…). What sort of specific regulation Obama would support to correct the problem, however, remains to be seen. It is becoming increasingly well known even among the unwashed masses that legislation often becomes embroiled in Congressional infighting and few, if any, Legislators actually know what is in a bill before it comes up for a general vote. This means Obama’s rhetoric could mean anything (or nothing) at this point.
 
Barack Obama has also recently turned completely around with regard to super-PACs (Political Action Committees). Previously a strong opponent of unlimited campaign spending on the part of super-PACs to support a specific candidate or political objective, the Obama Administration has finally embraced these “necessary evils” as a reality of American politics. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, has stated that not utilizing super-PACs would simply create an artificial handicap for the Democrats that the Republicans do not have to worry about. Whether current supporters of Barack Obama agree with this complete turnaround remains to be seen. Many people voted for Obama on the premise that he would not represent “politics as usual.” The Obama Administration is on record as previously referring to super-PACs as a “threat to democracy.” It seems now they are merely a threat to winning.
 
President Barack ObamaBarack Obama is also a victim of that same pernicious virus that infects all successful politicians at some point in their career, the “half-truth” syndrome. The President has proudly stated on several occasions, as have recent ads supporting Obama, that US consumption of foreign oil is below fifty percent for the first time in thirteen years (it stands at 49% as of 2010). Obama’s ads site the US Energy Information Administration, which is commonly regarded as a credible source. What the ads fail to mention, however, are the complete findings of study (surprise, surprise). US dependency on foreign oil has been steadily falling since 2005 (during the Bush Administration) and is related, according the US Energy Information Administration, to the economic recession of the past several years, increased domestic production in the Gulf of Mexico (also began before Obama became President) and an increasing reliance on natural gas production domestically. None of these additional facts are mentioned in Obama’s ads or his own personal statements.
 
President Obama’s reelection campaign website has also leveled criticism against Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry (Perry is no longer in the GOP Primary) for wanting to cut foreign aid to Israel to zero. While it is true that the GOP candidates mentioned above do support means testing for providing foreign aid to various countries, none have stated that they support a “zero funding” policy for Israel. All of the GOP candidates have expressed strong support for Israel as a vital ally to the United States in Middle Eastern affairs. This represents a clear and unambiguous misrepresentation of the truth on the part of Barack Obama’s campaign.
 

President Obama has based many of his policies on creating the perception of division between the “haves and have-nots” of American society. On December 6, 2011 the President gave a speech in Kansas where he stated that some billionaires in the United States have a tax rate as low as one percent. The problem with this statement is that it has no basis in reality. There is no evidence, from the IRS, or anywhere else that there are any billionaires in the United States who have a tax rate as low as one percent. Obama, like most politicians, relies on sound bites and emotional appeal rather than facts to stir up support.President Barack Obama
 
While giving an interview to a local Tampa, Florida news channel in early November of 2011, President Barack Obama stated that thirty million Americans, including a lot of people in Florida, would be able to receive healthcare as a result of his famous (or infamous) healthcare law in 2012. According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), however, this statement is simply false. The CBO, a non-partisan group, points out that only around one million people nationwide will benefit from Obama’s healthcare legislation in 2012. Most of the wider benefits associated with this law will take affect after the beginning of 2014. Whether the law remains valid that long is far from certain. Many Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed increasingly negative views regarding Obama’s healthcare legislation. Its future is far from certain.
 
While there are numerous easy targets for potential Republican candidates to center on in the upcoming general election, Barack Obama still has a better than fifty percent chance of victory. There are several reasons for this truth. None of the current Republican hopefuls have managed to electrify the Republican base, to say nothing of the general population. Additionally, the most likely contenders, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, all have significant downsides Obama will find it easy to exploit. Get ready for the negative attack ads on both sides as the general election heats up.