The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Is Obama Doomed?

Posted on | August 4, 2012 | 30 Comments

John Hinderaker looks at the Rasmussen poll numbers and notices the general decline in President Obama’s support over the past few months. Defeating an incumbent president is always difficult. It’s only happened three times in the modern era: Carter beat Ford in 1976, Reagan beat Carter in 1980 and Clinton beat Bush in 1992.

The weird thing is that while, in retrospect, the losers in those elections appear to have been doomed from the outset, in the late summer of their final year in office, their prospects for re-election still seemed quite viable. Few of the pollsters and pundits realized, in August 1980, that Jimmy Carter was three months away from losing a landslide to Ronald Reagan.

Is Obama already doomed to defeat in November? Or will events between now and Nov. 6 determine his fate? I lean toward the latter view.

It’s still “jump ball,” anybody’s game, and the next 94 days will be decisive. But when it’s all over, regardless of who wins, most people will see the result as having been more or less inevitable — the Loser will appear to have been doomed, and the Winner will seem destined to victory.


30 Responses to “Is Obama Doomed?”

  1. M. Thompson
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    Keep going, it’s the only way to win.

  2. Quartermaster
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    I don’t count Zer0 out yet, and won’t until the count is in on the 2nd Tuesday of November. The electorate has not demonstrated a great deal of intelligence over the years and too many are dependent on FedGov for every day life. Add this to Mittens serious weaknesses and I don’t think it will ever look inevitable, even in retrospect.

  3. smitty
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    @rsmccain Flip the question around: just what substantial, unexpected thing can #OccupyResoluteDesk do to stem the tide?

  4. AlamoCityPundit
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    I had a (very liberal) History Professor once who correctly predicted the defeat of Carter in 1980.  His theory was incumbents were only defeated when a third party challenger splits the liberal vote.  So by his thinking, Bush lost because Ross Perot ran; Reagan won because John Anderson ran, and Carter won because . . .

    . . . Pat Paulsen ran?  Really?

    I think he overlooks the “unlikeability” of the incumbent devel you know.  Ford was an incumbent, but also the only President who was NEVER ELECTED popularly to the office.  That;s a heap of unlikeability there.

    So, Run Roseann, Run! Run Gov. Johnson, Run!  We got the unlikeability covered.

  5. rrpjr
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    Reality and events as they unfold today in the cyclone of mass communications have greater power than ever to change perception and introduce chaos. But I will still assert that Obama is doomed. I think this is because his basic nature goes beyond events, i.e., Obama through his repeated exploitation of crisis for opportunity, has innured people to the idea that he might accrue benefit from the event. Clinton was artful at this, less ideological, more protean. At this point, Obama is just boring and depressing. I don’t think the polls reflect his doomed state for a number of complicated reasons. But barring a story that Romney held a concubine of young boys replete with photos, this election is over.

  6. DidacticVenal71
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:58 am
  7. How’s That Hopey/Changey Stuff Workin’ For Ya? | hogewash
    August 4th, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    […] Smitty thinks that race is still a “jump ball,” to use his words, and that events between now and Election Day will be decisive. I’m not so sure. I believe that election is now Mitt Romney’s to lose. […]

  8. W. J. J. Hoge
    August 4th, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    I’m among those who have viewed the idea of the Obama administration being the second Carter term as a best case scenario. The economy is in shambles (check), and we are perceived by our enemies as weak and ineffective on the world scene (check). At least Obama hasn’t suffered an attack by a killer rabbit.

    While I don’t see the same level of blowout as 1980 this year (California’s 55 electoral votes now have a D on them), I won’t be surprised if Mitt Romney wind up with more than 300 electoral votes.

  9. rosalie
    August 4th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    I don’t know if the debates could make or break, but I hope Romney doesn’t disappoint us. 

  10. DaveO
    August 4th, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    It won’t count until Romney is sworn in. A lot of the message being put out now is to poison the well so that Romney’s term is rougher than Bush-43’s.

  11. Peter Ingemi
    August 4th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    The very fact that question is being asked aloud tells you the answer.

    all the evidence has pointed to Obama being Crushed for almost a year and the evidence keeps building up.

    I figure at best they can run the bluff another month once Sept comes it’s going to be every pol for himself on the left.

  12. PaulLemmen
    August 4th, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

    The con is blown. Obama couldn’t win with the Hypnotoad as his running mate …

  13. Mike G.
    August 4th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

     In other words, Romney could take 48 states?

  14. ourfoundingtruth
    August 4th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    Theoretically, there’s no way obama can win, which proves the media is biased, and the polls are bogus! Polls target dem districts, the last cbs poll proves it.

    The fact is, black Christians aren’t voting for obama this time–they are the ones who put him in office. They know he’s a fake Christian, homosexual. Independents, libertarians, and more Jews won’t vote for him either. The only mass group he has, are kids, and college people, who are taught anti-christ social philosophy.

    Three more months. Romney better do what Reagan did–gut education, and the epa, lower taxes for everyone, close the loopholes in the tax code, and perhaps cut half the mtg int. deduction.

  15. DaveO
    August 4th, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    Obama won’t need a hypnotoad. He’ll need to know the identity of the Republican Electors who’ll be voting in the Electoral College. If Obama’s thug enough to influence Chief Justice Roberts out of his decision on Obamacare, then Obama can certainly reach the Electors.

    Republican Electors in Blue and Purple states are going to find the lives of their family members become very complicated in the next two months. 

    The fight for electors in Blue states will become extremely ugly as the GOP attempts to crush the insurgency.

  16. Dai Alanye
    August 4th, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    The outcome should be determined by lack of interest on the part of “casual-Democrat” voters. That is, those who voted for B O in 2008 out of ignorant enthusiasm,and would normally stay home or vote for the guy with better hair. Obama’s only chance at this late date is to attack Iran or North Korea.

  17. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

     I expect a late attack on Iran, not enough to damage their nuclear capabilities, but enough to monopolize the news for a few days before the election, hoping to entice the swing voters.

  18. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

     Spammer – every comment ever posted is a shortened link.  Advise all DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK.

  19. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

    The DemocRATS are already deserting the sinking ship, as witnessed by the many members of Congress and candidates who have already announced they will NOT be attending the Convention.

    Presidents who are reelected invariably draw more votes the second time and have some coattails.  If those candidates thought Obama had a good chance, you couldn’t keep them from the convention.

  20. Adjoran
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    Actually the list of defeated incumbents should include Truman and LBJ, both of whom withdrew after the New Hampshire primary.  The results convinced them they would not be reelected and they avoided the embarrassment of having to fight for even their own party’s nomination.

    If you add them back into the mix, the record for incumbent Presidents from WWII is 7 wins and 5 losses.  Not quite the Impossible Dream some scholars wish to portray.

  21. AnonymousDrivel
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    “But barring a story that Romney held a concubine of young boys replete with photos, this election is over.”

    But for the public evidence of photos, I believe that’s Senator Harry Reid’s concubine. If only he’d confess to what he knows or doesn’t know about this, we could move on from the growing scandal.

  22. AnonymousDrivel
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

    I was thinking Wag-The-Dog a few months ago, too, but was leaning towards Syria first. Obama really doesn’t want to get into a real, extended conflict with a serious force. He’s just not up to the task and it would require re-empowering our military, an institution he’s just not that fond of.

  23. AnonymousDrivel
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    48 or 55. It’s a toss-up.

  24. Adobe_Walls
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    Ford was also the only president to pardon Richard Nixon.

  25. Adobe_Walls
    August 4th, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    Many of the conventional wisdom’s will need rewriting.

  26. SDN
    August 4th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

     And exactly what makes you think that the column and Photoshops aren’t sitting in Axelrod’s safe?

  27. DaveO
    August 4th, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    Scholars tend to confuse the Presidency with Congress.

  28. Hey New York Jets Fans – Obama Dissed You | The Lonely Conservative
    August 5th, 2012 @ 12:15 am

    […] have already taken the kids down to Cortland for the Jets training camp. Maybe next year – when Mitt Romney is president and we have a few more dollars in our pockets for gas.google_ad_client = "ca-pub-1395656889568144"; […]

  29. Rich Rostrom
    August 5th, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    “the only President who was NEVER ELECTED popularly to the office…”

    Aside from John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester A. Arthur… who were elected Vice-President. Tyler, Fillmore, and Arthur all sought election to a full term, but were rejected for nomination.

    Interestingly, the next four VPs to succeed (Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson) all were re-elected to a full term. Truman and Johnson were later defeated for renomination for a second full term.

  30. Rich Rostrom
    August 5th, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Since 1960, nine incumbent Presidents have sought another term. Five won: LB Johnson, 1964; Nixon, 1972; Reagan, 1984; Clinton, 1996; GW Bush, 2004. Four lost: LB Johnson, 1968; Ford, 1976; Carter, 1980; GHW Bush, 1992.

    To  me that that doesn’t show incumbents have a great advantage. I do note that three of the four losers were strongly challenged in the primaries, which has not happened with Obama.