At a Democratic nominating committee event in Georgetown on Thursday, President Obama noted there are Democrats "who voiced concerns and nervousness about, 'Well, in this kind of economy, isn't this just --- aren't these just huge headwinds in terms of your reelection?' "
Speaking to the room filled with donors who'd paid more than $35,000 per couple to attend he went on: "And I just have to remind people that here's one thing I know for certain: The odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place.”
The audience laughed and applauded. But the statement is likely to be repeated in serious tones in the coming weeks. And the administration is trying to push positive points to counter low approval ratings and high unemployment rates.
David Axelrod, Obama’s senior strategist, released a memo to the Sunday talk shows: “According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, Democrats approve of [Obama’s] performance by an 81 to 14 percent margin. That’s stronger than President Clinton’s support among Democrats at this point in his term and, according to Gallup, stronger than any Democratic president dating back to Harry Truman.”
Axelrod’s memo continues to report 552,462 donors in the second quarter of this year, more than the total for 2007. Based on those numbers alone, Obama may be correct in stating that he has a higher chance of winning in 2012 than he did in 2008. But presidential candidate Rick Perry, known for his clout amongst big bundlers, only joined the race this summer and has yet to report his donation numbers.
This article appears in the September 16, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.