Is Obama Toast? Handicapping the 2012 Election – NYTimes.com

6 Nov

Three factors are considered:

• The first factor, Americans’ performance reviews of Obama, can be measured through his approval ratings.
• The second factor, economic performance, can be measured through statistics like G.D.P.
• The third factor — essentially, the ideological positioning of the Republican candidate — is sometimes thought of as an “intangible.” But it can be measured too, and it matters a great deal.

Four scenarios: 2 Obama vs. Romney, 2 Obama vs. Perry; for each paring, one where the economy stagnates, one where it’s improving. If the economy is improving, Obama wins against each, otherwise he loses. But the loss against Perry is worse.

Average these four scenarios together and the probabilities come out to almost exactly 50-50. A month or two ago, when Perry and Romney appeared about equally likely to be the Republican nominee, it would therefore have been proper to think of the election as a toss-up.

With Perry having slumped in the polls, however, and Romney the more likely nominee, the odds tilt slightly toward Obama joining the list of one-termers. It is early, and almost no matter what, the election will be a losable one for Republicans. But Obama’s position is tenuous enough that it might not be a winnable one for him.

via Is Obama Toast? Handicapping the 2012 Election – NYTimes.com.

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