Along with a declining unemployment rate, new polling suggests that President Obama is gaining steam and the media narrative is now shifting towards Obama being favored to win reelection in 2012.
Here is how MSNBC wrote up Obama and their latest NBC/Marist polls:
Turning to the general election in Iowa and New Hampshire, President Barack Obama’s approval rating remains underwater in both states. Forty-three percent of registered voters in Iowa approve of his job performance, which is up one point from October. In New Hampshire, 40 percent of registered voters approve of his job performance, up two points.
Yet — with one exception — he leads all GOP challengers in hypothetical match-ups in the Hawkeye State. He’s ahead of Romney by seven points among registered voters (46 percent to 39 percent), Gingrich by 10 points (47 percent to 37 percent) and Perry by 11 points (48 percent to 37 percent).The one exception: Paul ties him at 42 percent for each. In New Hampshire, Romney leads Obama by three points (46 percent to 43 percent), although that’s down from Romney’s nine-point advantage in October. But Obama leads all other Republicans in the state — Paul (by two points), Gingrich (by 10) and Perry (by 15).
As we inch closer to 2012, it looks the media might be starting to read their own polling. Despite the fact that Obama has been running ahead of the GOP field for most of the year, the mainstream media narrative has been all about how this president is doomed. However, their narrative has consistently not matched the data, which has shown soft support for any of the Republican flavor of the month frontrunners, and sold support for Obama from his base.
The media was trying to set up a storyline to create drama for the 2012 election. The declining unemployment numbers along with Obama’s focus on jobs, and the Republicans relentless obsession with getting rid of the one candidate who could give Obama a race has all combined to make it look like Obama is the favorite to win in 2012.
The reality is that most incumbent presidents should be favored to win reelection. There are recent notables like Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, but as a rule of thumb unless a weak personality challenged incumbent is running up against charismatic opposition who connects with the American people on emotional level, the incumbent should be favored. None of the Republican candidates can match Obama on the campaign trail. None of the GOP candidates can match the Obama organization and fundraising.
If the economy continues to improve, Obama will solidify his position as being favored to win reelection, but this won’t stop the media from trying to inject intrigue into the 2012 election. As they learned with the 2008 Democratic primary, elections can boost ratings and ad revenue if they capture the nation’s imagination.
The 2012 election is shaping up to be more like the ugly race of 2004 than the compelling drama of 2008. The electorate is surly, and the race for the White House could end up resembling a back alley brawl than a soaring story of triumph.
The media is beginning to catch on that no matter what Obama’s approval numbers say, voters still like him more than any of the Republican options. A lot can happen before election day, but after looking at the competition, it is easy to see why Obama should be favored to win reelection in 2012.