If performance has anything to do with it, Barack Obama's defeat in 2012 should be assured.
Consider this laundry list of horribles from Commentary magazine:
"Today we learned that in the first quarter of this year total economic output for the country grew by an anemic 1.8 percent. This was a significant slowdown from the fourth quarter of 2010, when the growth was 3.1 percent, which was itself unimpressive, especially in the aftermath of a recession, when one would expect growth to be much more robust.
…The number of jobless claims increased by 25,000 to 429,000 last week (the third week in a row unemployment claims surpassed 400,000). Consumer prices were up 3.8 percent from last year (after increasing only 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010). The price of gas is 35 percent higher than a year ago. The dollar continues to decline, with the Dollar Index sliding to an almost three-year low. And real estate experts are predicting that home prices could decrease by between 10 to 25 percent before the market bottoms out."
Barack Obama can lie, but these numbers don't.
Obama being the master of the political arts that he is, his defeat is of course far from assured. But the indictment against him is damning even for a master of a politician.
Obama's failure on the economy helps explain why Obama is struggling in swing states where bread-and-butter economic issues are King.
An LA Times article documented the President's swing state blues in pivotal states like Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, where his approval rating is well below 50% — troubling for an incumbent — and falling further by the day.
As concerning as the recent dip in President Obama's job rating nationally is to the White House, recent polling in a number of key battleground states may be a more troubling indicator of his political standing weeks after kicking off a re-election campaign.
Speaking of Pennsylvania, Real Clear Politics reports:
Worse still for the president, for the first time the Quinnipiac poll found a majority of Pennsylvania voters saying that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected. The numbers show a sharp decline in Obama's standing in the Keystone State over the last nine weeks – particularly among Independents. In the last Quinnpiac survey, taken in mid-February of this year, Independents approved of the job Obama was doing as president by a net 4-point margin, 50 to 46. Today they disapprove of the job he's doing by a net 20-point margin, 37 to 57.
The president can hold as many town halls as he wants. He can attack Republicans to his heart’s content. He may be, as his supporters insist, hyper-rational, the very model of the complex, nuanced thinker, perhaps even “the smartest guy ever to become president.” He can be charming on Oprah. He can do lots of things. But one thing he cannot do is escape the consequences of his actions. And if the economy remains flat on its back—if things don’t pick up significantly between now and the summer of 2012—then the odds are quite high that we’re looking at a one-term president."
If the Republicans are able to nominate a candidate who inspires confidence in the American people that they know what they're doing on the economy, and Obama clearly does not, then we can celebrate what could become the chant at the Republican National Convention next year: No More Years.