Is President Obama vulnerable in 2012? New polling suggests that he might be, as matchups between him and key Republicans get seriously tight.
Via the Washington Examiner:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads President Obama by two points, 44-42 percent, in the latest Rasmussen Reports national survey of voter preference for the 2012 presidential campaign. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is in a dead heat with Obama, with both drawing 43 percent.
These numbers could spell doom for Obama’s reelection campaign. At least, if they were from any polling group other than Rasmussen, who, according to Nate Silver, had the worst performance and the biggest pro-Republican bias of any polling group in 2010.
Even in the Rasmussen polling, most of the candidates are trailing the sitting president. So maybe a new contender needs to be throw into the mix? Mother Jones writer Andy Kroll notes conservatives are pushing that the new candidate should be former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Forget Tim Pawlenty, or Mitt Romney, or Sarah Palin. The best Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential race isn’t any of the names being batted around right now. The man the GOP needs is Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and the younger brother of George W. Bush.
At least that’s the argument laid out today by Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review. Many of Lowry’s eight reasons why Jeb should run in 2012—and not in 2016, as Bush has said he would—are well-worn: While Obama appears to be beatable, “there is no true frontrunner in the race to challenge him,” Lowry writes. Jeb is “not just another Bush.” Loathing of the Bush family, at its peak after George W.’s eight disastrous years in office, has largely subsided since Obama took over. And that there’s no “too soon” when it comes to running for the president. (Case in point: Obama and Bill Clinton.)
It’s true that the GOP field seems pretty weak so far. But as The Fix examines, is it really worth it to anyone to bother running for the GOP nomination?
Is the Republican presidential nomination worth having?
Yes, argues Republican pollster Ed Goeas in a memo entitled, fittingly: “A Nomination Worth Something”. (Goeas is a longtime adviser to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who is considering a run for president in 2012.)
Goeas makes a two-part argument — first that Obama remains politically weakened and second that the size and fluidity of the GOP field is a strength, not a hindrance.
While acknowledging that Obama has made gains since the election, Goeas notes that the president’s disapproval rating remains above 40 percent and that “those who strongly disapprove of the president remains at a 1.3-to-1 ratio to those who strongly approve of his job performance.”
Goeas also argues that disapproval is likely to remain strong due to unemployment rates that are “approximately 1.7 times higher” than the historical average since 1948.
On the Republican side, Goeas believes that while the 2012 field is likely to feature 10 or more candidates, the underlying political environment makes the race far more winnable than in 2008.
I guess that means there is room for Jeb after all.