Not so fast in handicapping '12 for President Obama

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I keep on saying that a trazillion things can happen between now and next November. Remember the game changer in '08 was McCain's "suspending" his campaign in August of that year. Via Taegan-

Thomas Holbrook says it's way too early to predict President Obama's re-election chances based on current data.

When looking at the unemployment rate in the year before a presidential election he finds "there is hardly any relationship (r-squared=.07), and slight pattern that does exist is nonsensical, indicating that Obama's best strategy would be to increase unemployment as much as possible."

Similarly, while presidential approval in the year before the election "is a better predictor of election outcomes than the unemployment rate is, I wouldn't bet the farm on any such predictions.  Here we at least have a relationship that makes sense: presidents with high approval numbers in the summer of the year before the election generally do better (or their party does better) than than those with relative low levels of approval.  Having said that, the relationship is not very strong (r-squared=.20), and there are certainly a number of exceptions to the general pattern."

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  • Mike

    I completely agree it's too early.  But I don't think it's too early to suggest that Obama and the Dems have leveled the playing field ..... significantly.

  • Mike

    I completely agree it's too early.  But I don't think it's too early to suggest that Obama and the Dems have leveled the playing field ..... significantly.

  • David G.

    So much also depends on which marionette the Republicans decide to pull the strings on.  And then of course, there's the dirt factor -- who's got more on them than the other.  Right now Obama would still beat any of the announced candidates... With the market crashing, the unsettled times overseas and jobs so hard to find, anything can happen... But in an election year, those areas are the ones that the incumbents tend to work harder on handling.  DG