Two years into the Presidency, most people believed that the Republican presidential candidate would easily defeat Obama, regardless of who the candidate was. Two years later and only eight months before the election, that's not a sure thing anymore and the reason lies as much in the numbers of the 2008 election as they do with anything that has happened recently, something I think the Republicans are overlooking as they battle each other for the nomination.
53 percent of all voters in 2008 were women and they voted 56 percent for Obama and 43 percent for McCain.
Blacks voted 95 percent for Obama, 5 percent for McCain.
Hispanic voters will increase 26 percent, from 9.7 million in 2008 to 12.2 million in 2012. They will account for 8.7 percent of all voters in 2012 and in 2008, they voted Democratic by more than a 2 to 1 margin; 67 percent vs. 31 percent.
Asians voted 62 percent for Obama and 35 percent for McCain.
Whites voted 49 percent for Obama and 48 percent for McCain. The only racial or gender category carried by McCain were white men who voted 55 percent to 43 percent in favor of McCain. The only age category carried by McCain were those 65 years old and older and the only region of the country carried by McCain was the South.
Today, 72 million voters are registered Democrats and 55 million are registered Republicans.
Obama won the 2008 election by 10 million popular votes and 365 to 173 electoral votes.
Those are numbers that the Republicans will have to close significantly to have a chance in 2012 and it won't be easy.
Today, Obama leads every Republican candidate in national polls and has raised three times as much money for his re-election bid as his closet competitor, Mitt Romney, who has raised much more money than his other Republican opponents.
Unemployment claims are the lowest they've been in 4 years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is closing in on 13,000 points.
The American automobile industry is once again in the driver's seat, making and selling more cars than ever before.
During Obama's watch, Osama Bin Laden was found and killed, something Bush tried and failed to do for the whole eight years of his presidency. In addition, Libyan strong man and dictator Muammar Gaddafi was also killed along with over 600 Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants by drone strikes ordered by the president. In addition, there have been no internal terrorism strikes since Obama became president.
Add to those things the fact that the Republican primaries have turned nasty with each candidate criticizing the weak points of the other candidates in an attempt to gain the nomination. That gives Obama even more ammunition to use against whoever the Republican candidate is and more fuel is added to the fire.
The Republicans have long positioned themselves as the arbiters of a strong national defense and a strong economic system and that's what we're moving toward today. So when your two strongest points are compromised, social issues are all that remain and social issues won't win this election. When the people feel secure about their national security and they have reason to be optimistic about their economic situation, they vote to keep the people in office who got them there. James Carville, the campaign manager for Bill Clinton in 1992, kept a permanent sign in the Little Rock headquarters that said, 'It's the economy, stupid.' And it still is.
So if the economy continues to improve over the next 8 months, Obama will be hard to beat. If not, then the ball goes back to the other corner.
But, regardless of what happens, it's not going to be nearly as easy for the Republicans to win the presidency as they thought it was going to be a couple of years ago.