Insiders Split Along Party On Obama's Reelection Odds
National Journal's political Insiders were unsurprisingly split by party on gauging the president's odds for re-election.
Insiders were asked to rate President Obama's chances of re-election on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no chance and 10 representing virtual certainty. Democrats rendered an average rating of 7.1, indicating some confidence among the party that they could hold onto the White House. Republicans gave an average rating of 5, reflecting more skepticism about President Obama's odds.
On a scale of zero (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely is it that President Obama will win reelection?
|Slight chance (1-3)||0%||11%|
|Moderate chance (4-6)||31%||76%|
|Strong chance (7-10)||69%||13%|
Interestingly enough, although no Democrats gave a rating below 4, reflecting "a slight chance" of re-election, thirteen percent of Republican Insiders believed there was a high likelihood of a second Obama term, giving ratings between 7 and 10.
"The race is structured very much to Obama's advantage, demographically, with independents, and the electoral college," a Democratic Insider said.
A GOP insider agreed: "The demographics are on his side. By the fall we Republicans will be wondering what happened to the Southwest swing states."
"It's hard to beat an incumbent President, as history demonstrates. Even harder to defeat an historical one," yet another Republican chimed in.
On both sides of the aisle, many predicted a tight race.
"This election can truly go either way, and could make 2000 look like a landslide," one Republican said. A Democrat made a similar comparison: "We will be returning to a 2000 or 2004 electoral-college squeaker election."
"The lessening of the economic headwinds have made this race a virtual toss-up," a Republican posited. "Close, yes. But this isn't the year of the millionaire corporate raider," another Democrat added.
Indeed, many Democrats pointed to the perceived weaknesses of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as easing Obama's fight for a second term.
"Romney is such a lousy candidate. Despite a long list of reasons why Obama shouldn't win, he will," one said. "By November no one worried about their job will believe Romney is worried about their job, too," another noted.
"Mitt Romney could barely get the Republican base excited. It smells like 1996, but who knows, it might even be 1984," yet another predicted.
Republicans, on the other hand, said the economy would be the driving force of the election and make the Obama campaign's case all the more difficult.
"Tough to win with an economy that's softening once more being overseen by a guy who never worked in the private sector," one said.
"If it is a referendum on Obama and the economy, Obama loses," another agreed.
"The Republicans have the potential of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory--have to try and avoid further alienation of women and Hispanics," one GOP insider advised. "But economy will continue to be the issue."