Who would hurt Obama's re-election chances the most?

Which of the following hypothetical opponents do you feel would do the most harm to Barack Obama’s chances of getting re-elected in 2012?

Smith: A Democrat who is challenging him for the party’s nomination. Smith says that Obama has not lived up to his promises and is unwilling to confront conservatives.

Jones: A Republican. Jones is a moderate who has a record of working with both parties. His campaign will be based on his ability to get things done.

Allen: A Republican. Allen is a conservative who is calling for a strongly conservative platform. But he’s a principled man who will base his campaign on ideology not personalities.

Harris: A Republican. Harris has no significant political history and avoids discussing the issues. But he’s charismatic and a great public speaker. And he’s backed by a political machine that will run a strong negative campaign attacking Obama.

Keep in mind this isn’t a poll on who you would most like to see in the campaign - just who you think Obama is most vulnerable to.

i don’t think Obama is touchable, but if he faces any strong challenge at all, I think it would have to be a moderate (not a teabagger), and that challenger would have to have some some kind of substantive plan, not just Obama bashing or platitudes.

Having said that, Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee and Obama will win easily.

Among postwar presidents defeated for a second term, they invariably faced a crippling intraparty challenge. My opinion, but it looks like sheer fantasy to say Obama is “untouchable” in the face of a likely very similar dynamic next year.

Of the four, I think Harris may have the best shot, but even he won’t come close to taking out Obama. My enthusiasm for Obama has tempered greatly over the last two years, but I simply don’t see anyone beating him. I’m with Dio on this one. Romney will be the nominee and will lose.

Other: It’s going to be a Repug so crazy even the party base can’t support them.

I think Obama is Obama’s greatest enemy. Some of the things he’s done so far have alienated his base (not closing G-bay, not ending the wars) and strengthened his enemies (“Obamacare” and now the DOMA v. DOJ thing). Those things make him vulnerable to whomever he’s up against.

I’ve got a republican friend who believes that those Mormon ads, that are portraying Mormons as regular people, are to prime voters for a Mormon president.

Smith. The biggest asset an incumbent can have is a united party behind him.

A lack of primary challengers can be the difference that makes a tough election winnable (Bush, 2004) or a potentially close one become easy (Clinton, 1996). The primary challenges to Bush I (1992) certainly didn’t help him, and of course Teddy basically sunk Carter’s re-election bid in 1980.

Jones or Harris, but they both lose. Harris would be tougher, I think.

You mean those ads that have been running for like 25 years now? No.

Jones. A moderate Republican governor that appeals to moderates. Mitch Daniels perhaps? I expect a close election in 2012, and I think it’s ridiculous to believe that Obama has an easy reelection ahead, unless the Republicans nominate a crazy person (not impossible). Though I can’t imagine Romney (my guess for the nomination) beating Obama, unless the economy tanks. This is probably due to my dislike of Romney, which clouds my judgment of his chances of winning.

The correct answer is obviously Smith.

Here’s the thing; logically, Obama is not threatened by Smith alone. ** He is threatened by Smith and then one of Jones, Allen or Harris.** If you pick Jones, Allen or Harris you’re implicitly assuming there’s no ferocious leadership challenge, but if there is a ferocious leadership challenge then even if Obama wins the nomination, he must run against SOME Republican candidate, who will almost certainly fall, more or less, into the Jones, Allen or Harris descriptions.

As Koxinga points out, hard core intraparty challenges at the nomination stage are a strong sign of impending doom. If by some weird circumstance - and I don’t see why it would happen but you never know - Obama faces a tough renomination, he will lose. If he doesn’t, he will win.

My guess? Smith would hurt him the most, but wouldn’t win the White House—all he’d do is neutralize Obama (either he gets the nomination himself, but loses the election itself; or he manages to stay on the ballot as a third party or an independent until November, and split the voter base), and by extension put Harris or Allan in office.

Hillary Clinton supporters will vote Republican or not at all before they vote for Obama. Remember the PUMAs!

The ads began in August. And apparently they’re not nationwide as I thought. Why must I continually be hounded by interracial couples telling me they’re mormons?


I’ve never seen them.

They apparently only run in Baton Rouge, La.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Rochester, N.Y.; Oklahoma City; St. Louis; Tucson, Ariz.; and Minneapolis.

Although they’ve probably expanded since August.

this x 2

If your crystal ball is working as well as it was when you were predicting the demise of the Packers, I’m heartened by this.

The difference being that DtC makes most of his observations on football… um, from a place that is neither reasoned nor, from what I can tell, sober.

But he’s right on this one. Obama will be re-elected.

There’s a chicken-and-egg issue here: strong Presidents running for a second term very rarely get challenged in the primaries. People brought up Teddy running against Carter in 1980, but I think Carter loses whether Teddy challenges him or not. Likewise if someone was crazybrave enough to challenge St. Ronnie in 1984, Reagan would have still blitzkrieged Mondale.

I voted Jones, but of the 4 choices he is the least likely type of challenger, by far.

But that’s true of ***any ***incumbent (and, sorry, so far I just don’t see him doing so egregiously worse than others before), so I have to interpret the poll based upon what makes the scenario worse or better from that baseline

If Smith makes a strong showing he can weaken the incumbent. It remains to be seen if the disaffected true-believer-libs in 2012 would turn out to be made of weaker stuff than the Clintonistas, or than true-believer-cons, when it comes to letting spited pride count more than winning elections.

Dies early in the primaries. May become Allen’s running mate if Harris has any sense.

Makes it to the ticket but with the understanding that Harris’ followers will do the dirty work while Allen takes the High Road.

Does not get the nomination but gets enough delegates that he and some of his backers get good address spots at the RNConvention. They become the attack dogs in the campaign, going also after any Smithites who may now be supporting the incumbent (as proof that there’s a plan to go hardcore lib in a 2nd term).

IF the Harrisbaggers :wink: can pace and control themselves down the stretch so they can rally the hard core without scaring the heck out of the moderates, they make Allen formidable. If they go full Palin, they may sink him, if Smith did not do that much damage.