Saturday, January 29, 2011

Race for the White House 2012

Barack Obama's most recent State of the Union address may not have been a political bomb, but it has not seemed to contain the political momentum the Administration had hoped for. The President's approval numbers in daily tracking polls continue to be above the levels they were for much of 2010, but have continued to just hover at around the 50 percent level.

SOTU night saw lawmakers on "date nights", or sitting side by side with those from the other side of the aisle for the first time ever, which received much attention. However, that effort, largely suggested by Democrats, seemed to make it harder for the minority party to organize cheers and standing ovations for the President of their party.

It is worth noting for the first time in this feature, and importantly so for Obama's reelection efforts, that he is not seemingly facing any sort of credible primary challenge for renomination. The past several decades, any President who received such a challenge would eventually lose reelection, while any President that avoided it, went on to win.

There is of course a long way to go until the general election is decided, and on the Republican side, the contest continues to slowly inch ahead. Mitt Romney appeared on the Fox News Channel (where so many of potential GOP opponents have formal contributing roles) and said that while he had not committed to another Presidential bid, he was considering dates to make an announcement. He seems to have a very busy media week in New York City planned.

In other developments, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence announced he would not seek the Presidency. The conservative favorite is instead expected to seek his state's Governorship. Sarah Palin continued to make news and generate criticism when she made note of Obama's "Winning the Future" theme in the State of the Union as a "WTF moment."

Finally, a Republican polling firm conducted a survey of Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans, showing that Mike Huckabee would start off as the favorite among caucus going Hawkeyes, should he attempt a repeat in the state, while Romney,who is reported to be contemplating just how hard he would compete in the caucus, would be a strong favorite in the First in the Nation New Hampshire Primary.