If Obama is to win re-election one year from today, he'll need to prove a "historic" candidate in less esoteric and more statistically significant ways than propelled him to victory for his first term. He'll have to defy the historic trends for presidential elections as they presently stand. As the Washington Times notes:
At 43 percent approval in a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 28-30, Mr. Obama recently referred to himself as an "underdog" -- with good reason. Of all the presidents since World War II whose job-approval scores were lower than 50 percent one year before Election Day, only one went on to win a second term.
That was President Nixon, whose job approval stood at 49 percent in November 1971. He rebounded to defeat Democrat George McGovern in a landslide in 1972.
Obama's approval rating is much lower than Nixon's and, hopefully, the GOP candidate will prove more formidable than McGovern.
Unemployment is another statistical guide.
No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has won a second term when the unemployment rate was higher than 7.2 percent. Reagan won in 1984 with a jobless rate at 7.2 percent.
Obama, of course, is no Reagan and present unemployment hovers at 9%.
So, Obama has his work cut out for him. But he does have a few advantages going for him.
He is still a formidable fundraiser, having amassed more than $150 million for his campaign and the Democratic National Committee this year.
Also, his re-election operation is more robust than any of the GOP camps, which are waging a long and costly primary battle. Mr. Obama's campaign is able to build on a 50-state network from 2008, an email list of more than 9 million potential supporters and an experienced staff with unequaled savvy in digital marketing and social networking.
In early polling of head-to-head matchups with potential GOP candidates, Mr. Obama comes out on top in nearly every instance. One poll in the battleground state of Florida this week showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied with Mr. Obama.
And the Times contemplates the possibility of a third party candidate siphoning votes from the Republican nominee - but I don't foresee such a option in the tea leaves.
As I've noted previously, Obama is not being blamed by the American people for the state of the country. The buck, it seems, has not stopped with the president. It must be a priority for the GOP candidate to lay blame were it belongs and tie the economy as an albatross around the president's neck. Where the media has deflected blame from Obama, the GOP must nail it to his campaign bus. A Republican cannot win if Obama is not recognized as the culprit responsible for America's woes and deserving of its righteous anger.