To many Americans it seems like only yesterday that they went to the ballot box to cast their vote in arguably the most historic presidential elections of all time. The current Administration’s term is not even halfway over yet. Nevertheless, a great deal has happened since the last election. Heath care reform was passed after a long and brutal political battle, the war on Afghanistan has continued to drag on, and significant financial reform legislation has been passed. The economic stimulus package rolled out to much fanfare and programs such as Cash for Clunkers were launched to try to stop the economic bleeding that has affected so many Americans.
One would think that with so many key initiatives put in place in such a short period of time would ensure that the incumbent president would retain the White House when it comes time for the 2012 election. Particularly since historically the incumbent has won the presidency 70% of the time. For the 2012 election, however, re-election is not a certainty. A lot can still happen before the 2012 election. In fact, the state of the economy is likely to determine whether or not the Obama Administration is able win the 2012 election.
Regardless of political party affiliation, most Americans will agree that the single most important issue that will impact the results of the next election is the economy. While many experts are insisting that the country has turned the corner and is on the move up again, many Americans have yet to see it. In fact, many are worse off than they were just a year ago. Even when they acknowledge that it takes time for a rebound to really kick in, voters are discouraged and pessimistic about the state of the economy.
President Obama’s approval ratings seem to be holding steady they have continued to decline. The crisis in the Gulf and concern over the war in Afghanistan are certainly contributing factors but the over riding issue on the minds of all American’s is the economy, jobs, and finances.
Despite the fact that job growth numbers have risen and availability of credit is improving, the country is skeptical that we are out of the woods. This creates a good deal of uncertainty for both the Democrats and the Republicans. But a dissatisfied populace does not necessarily mean the incumbent will lose his seat. It is up to the opposition party to come up with a candidate that is actually electible. There is little evidence at the moment that the Republicans will actually be able to accomplish this for the 2012 election.
There is no question there are plenty of Republicans who appear to be willing to take on the job. From old standbys like John McCain to new faces like Bobby Jindal the cast of characters is long. The disappointment and skepticism regarding the direction of the country is real and could lead to unexpected results come November 2012. The country is as disenchanted with its politicians as it has ever been and there is a widespread feeling that it doesn’t matter which party you support since neither side seems to be responding to the needs of the American people. It remains to be seen if the Republicans will be able to convince the American people that they can make enough of a difference to give them back the White House in the 2012 election.
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