Thursday, November 3, 2011

Obama has 17 percent chance of reelection?

Good morning, and welcome to O-pinion, home of opinion and debate at The Charlotte Observer. I’m Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten, and I’ll be your host today.

In the news today: The economy, and it’s mostly bad. That’s ominous for President Obama, whose reelection hinges on turning things around in the next year. Fed Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t do Obama any favors with his honest assessment. Bernanke said that economic growth will likely remain “frustratingly slow.” The Fed is now predicting that the economy will grow much more slowly, with higher unemployment, than it predicted in June. The central bank predicts the economy will grow no more than 1.7 percent for 2011 and 2.7 percent for 2012. Unemployment will tick down only a half-percentage point by the end of 2012, the Fed predicts. Some private economists, including at BofA, predict even slower growth.

Meanwhile, Greece is in chaos. And a new report shows that the number of Americans in extreme poverty are at a record high: More than 20 million Americans, or 1 in 15, make less than half of the official poverty level. And yet another report says 46 million Americans are now on food stamps.

This could all make Obama a one-term president. The New York Times Magazine’s cover story gives Obama just a 17 percent chance of relection if he faces Republican Mitt Romney in a stagnant economy. The story labels Obama an underdog and says of the last eight elected presidents, only Jimmy Carter was in worse political shape at this point in his presidency.
The story looks at three factors – Obama’s approval rating, what might happen to the economy, and who Republicans might nominate – and calculates Obama’s chances for reelection. A summary:
1. Obama vs. Romney in a stagnant economy: Romney has 83 percent chance of winning, Obama 17 percent.
2. Obama vs. Romney in improving economy: Romney has 40 percent chance, Obama 60 percent.
3. Obama vs. Rick Perry in stagnant economy: Perry has 59 percent chance, Obama 41 percent.
4. Obama vs. Perry in improving economy: Perry has 17 percent chance, Obama 83 percent.

November 2012 is a long time from now, but if the economy doesn’t turn around, Obama is probably done.

GOP circular firing squad

The other big news continuest to be the sexual harassment allegations against Hermain Cain. Cain now blames Perry campaign insiders for leaking the story to POLITICO. A Perry staffer suggests it came from Romney. We say: Where it came from matters a lot less than whether the allegations are true.

This day in history

The federal income tax made its debut on Nov. 3, 1913, with a simple three-page form. A married taxpayer with an income of $5,000 paid $10 a year; one making $10,000 paid $60 in taxes.

Closer to home

Questions are arising over what the Occupy protests are costing taxpayers. The constant police presence at the Occupy Charlotte protest and marches has cost taxpayers about $105,000 since Oct. 1, says CMPD Capt. Jeff Estes. City Council member Andy Dulin, a Republican, wonders if that’s justifable in hard economic times. “Those folks have the right to protest and I would stand in front of a freight train to protect their First Amendment rights,” the Associated Press quotes Charlotte City Council member Andy Dulin as saying. “But at some point we have to say look, y'all come back during the day.”

Dulin is unopposed in the city election next Tuesday, but nine other seats are up for grabs. The Observer editorial board has made its endorsements in those races, as well as the heated race for school board.

Lawsuits are expected this week against the new Republican-drawn congressional and legislative districts. Greensboro News & Record editorial writer Doug Clark says what’s good for the goose is good for the gerrymander. The (Raleigh) News & Observer’s editorial board admires, sort of, Republicans’ ability to draw the lines in their favor.


Fred Flintstone said...

If anyone doubts the scorched-earth policy of economic stagnation the Republicans have been engaged in since, oh, about 3 minutes after President Obama finished his inaugural address, this article should dispel them.

There's only one reason Republican politicians have been so obstinately unwilling to compromise or take their responsibility to govern seriously and that's it. Make things so bad that people simply forget who created this economic disaster in the first place and blame the guy they hired to come in and clean it up.

And if the polls are to be believed, it's been a sound strategy. Maybe it's the fault of the public schools - there is an epidemic of willful ignorance in this country, and the people that have actually been paying attention are appalled. This is the dark side of modern democracy - a fool and his vote are often rewarded.

nikonguy03 said...

Fred, how is it a "scorched earth" policy when democrats had a senate and house majority for two years after Obama was elected? You're just making facts up.

Vito Andolini said...

Romney, really? HAHAHAHAHAHA, that's the funniest joke I've heard in a while. I don't know whats more moronic, him or his religion. Thanks for the laugh!

Fred Flintstone said...

Nikonguy - Maybe you didn't notice that the Republicans made a weapon out of the filibuster that it was never meant to be, and had never been done before. That meant any legislation that came before the Senate needed not just a simple majority, but a super-majority of 60 to pass, and really a couple more beyond that to counter any wayward Democrats-in-Republican-clothing. They only got 59 in the election of '08.

That brazen act of governmental sabotage - the abuse of the filibuster - meant getting anything through Congress in any form close to what the President wanted was virtually impossible.

After the Tea Party succeeded in diverting the national dialog from the economy to defeating badly needed health care reform, the election of 2010 was lost, as was any chance of President Obama being able to effectively clean up the mess he inherited.

Mission apparently accomplished.

RudyVasalino said...

17% huh? Where did you find that many idiots?

Garth Vader said...


I would like for you to address the origins of the very obvious and coordinated blackout of the candidacy of Ron Paul in the Observer and in other mainstream media outlets. This blackout was confirmed and documented by the Pew Center, and is so pervasive that the Paul campaign promoted their latest fundraising effort using the catchphrase "Black THIS Out" (it raised 2.3 million dollars in 36 hours, getting donations from more individuals in one day than Rick Perry got in the entire third quarter).

Two weeks ago Paul released a comprehensive and specific plan to immediately reduce federal spending by $1 trillion and to balance the budget within 2015, both goals that a vast majority of Republicans would welcome. Yet the Observer did not print a single word regarding the Paul plan, in contrast to its extensive stories on "9/9/9" which is a tax plan that only addresses revenue, rather than the actual spending cuts which - again - most rank and file Republicans support.

So please answer this simple question: What is the origin of the Ron Paul blackout? Thanks.

Wiley Coyote said...

Hey ummm Fred?

How do you account for Democrats controlling Congress since 2007 until AFTER Obama was elected, which they then had the WHite House as well and, Obama's own party couldn't produce a budget for 80o days and many in his own party aren't onboard with his jobs bill?

Obama owns this mess. It's all his own...