(New York) last Thursday, the White House has acknowledged for the first time that Barack Obama run for "probably" a second term as president in 2012. Tonight, the Democrat has a chance to take the lead on his Republican opponents by launching his campaign unofficially.
The pretext is not the slightest. Before the Houses of Congress met, the President will deliver the traditional address on the state of the Union, during which he should focus on employment, research and deficits. He will continue as the political focus that began in the wake of the disappointing results of midterm elections for the Democrats.
His chances of reelection are they good? It is probably too early to answer this question so assured, but one can always speculate.
Five reasons why Barack Obama may be re-elected in 2012
1. The difficulty of dislodging a past president
If you look at the results of the last 31 presidential elections in which an incumbent President was a candidate, Barack Obama has 67% chance of being reelected to the White House. George W. Bush has been reelected with particular 50.7% of the vote despite the dissatisfaction of the voters for the economy and the war in Iraq.
2. Improving the economy favors the incumbent president
The economic upturn, however modest it may be, has contributed to the recent rally of Barack Obama in the polls. If the recovery is sustained, the Democratic president will be almost unbeatable in 2012, just as Ronald Reagan in 1984.
3. An advantageous electoral map
The outgoing president could lose 5 of the 28 states he won in 2008 - say Florida, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia - and be reelected to the White House with 279 votes it repeats its electoral triumph of 2008 in 23 other states, according to an analysis by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post.
4. The weight of the Hispanic electorate
The Republicans have done everything since 2008 to alienate these voters, whose importance increases with each presidential election. Latin Americans in particular could swing Nevada in the Democratic camp in 2012.
5. The personal popularity of President
Beyond the fringe of the electorate who sees in Barack Obama a Kenyan Communist-dominated, the Americans are sympathetic to their president, who remains the most popular political figure in the United States.
Five reasons why Barack Obama may be defeated in 2012
1. Further increase in unemployment
Since the beginning of his presidency, Obama is struggling with high unemployment. His re-election could be compromised if this rate remains higher than 9%. It now stands at 9.4%.
2. Rising deficits
Deficit reduction is the second largest concerns of Americans after use, according to polls. Barack Obama must reach agreement with Congress on measures to tackle this problem, otherwise it could pay the price at the polls.
3. Terrorist attack in the U.S.
Normally, a terrorist attack on U.S. soil should gather the people around the president. But the Republicans could succeed in making Barack Obama to carry some blame. Especially as Americans have always tended to have more confidence in Republicans than Democrats on national security.
4. Appointment of a charismatic Republican candidate
Although they deny being interested in the presidency in 2012, the new senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, or the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, could not only galvanize the Republican base, but also the moderate electorate or independent, which seems to be out of reach of Sarah Palin.
5. The relative unpopularity of the health reform
Nearly half the American population wants the repeal of health system reform enacted last year by Barack Obama. If Congress or the courts continue to undermine the foundations of this reform, the greatest achievement of the Democratic president could become its biggest electoral ball.