President Barack Obama will likely be defeated in 2012 because of a weak economy, lost support from key constituents, unpopular policies and bad strategic decisions, Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, argues in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal.Rove notes that unemployment now stands at 9.1 percent with many of the 14 million Americans out of work for more than six months. A recent Bloomberg poll showed Americans believe they are worse off than when Mr. Obama took office by a 44% to 34% margin and the last president reelected with unemployment over 7.2 percent was FDR in 1936.
Obama’s relationship with his base is also troubled. Jewish voters are upset with his policy toward Israel, and “left-wing bloggers at last week’s NetRoots conference were angry over Mr. Obama’s failure to deliver a leftist utopia.”
His job approval rating is down and his support amongst younger voters has dropped 22 percent and among Latinos 20 percent. “Even African-American voters are less excited about Mr. Obama than they were-and than he needs them to be. For example, if their share of the turnout drops just one point in North Carolina, Mr. Obama’s 2008 winning margin there is wiped out two and a half times over,” Rove wrote.
Obama’s policies are also a drag, Rove wrote, noting that “his health-care reform still holds its unique place as the only major piece of social legislation that became less popular after it was passed. According to yesterday’s Pollster.com average of recent surveys, 38% approve of ObamaCare, while its survey average when the bill was passed in March 2010 showed that 41% approved.”
Obama is also making a strategic blunder of actively attacking “potential GOP opponents and (slandering) Republican proposals with abandon. This is not what the public is looking for from the former apostle of hope and change.”
“In politics, 17 months can constitute several geological ages. Political fortunes can wax and wane. And weak incumbents can defeat even weaker challengers,” Rove concluded.
“At the same time, objective circumstances like an anemic economy and bad decisions not only matter; they become very nearly dispositive. Mr. Obama is now at the mercy of policies and events he has set in motion. He can’t escape accountability, especially on the economy. He’s not done yet, but it will be tough to recover.”