2012 is of course a presidential election year, meaning President Obama is up for re-election and the primaries and caucuses have already hit full swing for the Republican nomination. In 2008 Hilary Clinton and now President Obama took the process late into the Summer as they both sought the presidential nomination. After spending millions of dollars and campaigning in all “57” states, Obama managed to edge out his opponent. That primary season was seen as one of the closest in history, but this year’s Republican primary season may top that, and may yield some interesting news for Obama and the Republican Party.
Remaining in the republican field is Ron Paul, who is spreading the message of freedom and prosperity, Mitt Romney, having already failed at securing the nomination in 2008, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. For over a full year the candidates have campaigned and debated, but polls suggest that the party is still not satisfied with the choices remaining and would be interested in seeing another candidate offer him or herself up, or even consider voting for the Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
After Mitt Romney was being hailed as the candidate seen as most likely to secure the nomination, Rick Santorum swept him on Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses. In addition to that, Ron Paul even defeated him in a state. With Ron Paul having a large and energetic base behind him, it is expected he will pick up a lot of delegates at the convention. The rest of the battle is now between the 3 other candidates that all have polled poorly at some point or other, has an unfavorable view, or their ability to defeat Obama has been questioned.
Due to these opinions, one in five, or 20% of all Republican voters have stated they are leaning towards Obama for the November election, as according to a WND/Wenzel Poll conducted at the beginning of the month. The only candidate to not reach the 20% level out of the remaining Republican candidates is Ron Paul.
While the poll could be analyzed as a dissatisfaction of the republican candidates, it should be noted that when attention is on the nomination process, favorable opinions always tend to drop lower. Supporters of one candidate may feel polarized and not accurately report their opinions. Some have also speculated that the reason is the “improved” economic numbers coming out. Unemployment saw another drop, however real unemployment, which went primarily unreported still hovers at 15%.
The poll also showed that if the election was held today, President Obama would defeat all the republican candidates, but Ron Paul would be the most competitive. On another interesting note, Obama’s approval ratings are in the levels seen of one term presidents, suggesting perhaps the re-election won’t be as easy as some polls like this may suggest. The economy is still in a bad situation and the population tends to hold the ones in charge accountable for that, meaning Obama may have a tough road ahead.
Whatever the case may be, the election cycle is far from over.