Abramowitz: Obama Likely To Win Narrow 2012 Re-Election Victory

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is closing the gap, but he still has a ways to go to win the White House in November. Emory University professor Alan I. Abramowitz at Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball explains:

According to a Gallup Poll analysis of recent polling data on the mood of the American public, President Obama appears to face a difficult road to winning a second term in November. The specific indicators of the national mood included in Gallup’s analysis were economic confidence, the percentage of Americans citing the economy as the country’s most important problem, satisfaction with the state of the nation and approval of the president’s job performance.

While all of these indicators have shown some improvement in the past year, according to Gallup they all remain at levels that suggest trouble for the incumbent. For example, only 24% of Americans said that they were satisfied with the direction of the country and 66% cited the economy as the most important problem facing the nation.

Whether we base our prediction on President Obama’s 47% approval rating in the Gallup Poll in early May or a more sophisticated forecasting model incorporating economic conditions and the “time for change” factor, it appears likely that we are headed for a very close election in November. Both models make Obama a slight favorite to win a second term. However, the final outcome will depend on the actual performance of the economy and the public’s evaluation of the president’s job performance in the months ahead. Those interested in assessing where the presidential race stands should focus on these two indicators rather than the day-to-day events of the campaign, which tend to dominate media coverage of the election.

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-24 13:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy