Making Obama a One Term President

January 27, 2011 06:06

Regardless of his rebound in the polls, Barack Obama is no shoe-in for reelection. Here’s how the GOP can win.

By Richard Baehr at American Thinker


It is not at all surprising that President Obama has made direct and indirect appeals to independent voters with his actions and speeches since the November rout, when independent voters broke sharply towards the GOP. While enthusiasm from the conservative base or the liberal base is critical for turnout and grassroots activism, most elections are won by candidates who have broad electoral appeal.

Incumbent presidents win more often than not for reelection. In the last fifty years, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush were all elected twice. On the other hand, Carter and George H.W. Bush were defeated for reelection, and Lyndon B. Johnson chose not to run after a poor start in the 1968 primaries.

Democrats start with an Electoral College advantage. Democrats have won eighteen states plus D.C. in each of the last five presidential elections: California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon, Delaware, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and D.C. for a total of 242 Electoral College votes. Several of these states were hotly contested in 2000 and 2004 — especially Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, totaling 46 Electoral College votes.

For the GOP, the base that has stayed with the party in each of the last five elections is much smaller — only thirteen states: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, totaling 100 Electoral College votes. Six other states with 69 Electoral College votes went for the party four of the last five cycles (Arizona, Indiana, Georgia, Montana, Virginia, and North Carolina), and six others with 48 Electoral College votes have become much more GOP-friendly in recent years and gone Republican in the last three elections (Arkansas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Missouri). In total, these twelve states add another 117 Electoral College votes. The other seven states have gone back and forth in the most recent cycles: Florida and Colorado went three times for the Republicans, Nevada and Ohio twice, and Iowa, New Mexico, and New Hampshire once.


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