Ramesh Ponnuru: Polarized Electorate Suggests Obama Win in 2012

Jun 2011
Ramesh Ponnuru, who is a senior editor at National Review, which has the website National Review Online (NRO), which is one of the most right wing websites out there.

Ponnuru thinks that Obama will win re-election in 2012. This is not a liberal commentator writing. This is a conservative editor writing. Here is a search page of many things he has written, most very, very conservative.

In his column ("Polarized Electorate Suggests Obama Win in 2012") that was published on bloomberg.com.

In 2004..."Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg told a group of liberal activists that week that the American public had made up its mind about Bush, negatively, and that all Kerry had to do was to establish himself as an acceptable alternative...

Greenberg’s theory was that the 2004 election was going to be a referendum on Bush’s performance. Likewise, a lot of Republicans today say they believe that the 2012 election will be a referendum on President Barack Obama’s record.

But Greenberg was wrong in 2004, and the Republicans are probably wrong about 2012. "...

..."The strategic insight of the Bush re-election campaign in 2004 was that times had changed. The U.S. was divided 50-50 between the parties. The number of committed partisans had increased, and the number of true swing voters -- as opposed to voters who say they are independent but reliably vote for one party -- had shrunk. In this newly polarized country, no president could hope to achieve high approval ratings for very long.

It followed, though, that a president could win re-election even with approval ratings that would once have spelled doom. In a 50-50 America, every presidential election was a choice between the incumbent and the challenger and not just a referendum on the incumbent. If voters who didn’t approve of the incumbent could be persuaded to prefer him to the challenger, the incumbent would win....

That was Bush’s game plan....They didn’t try to persuade Americans that Bush had been a terrific president or even that Kerry was unpresidential. They just made the case that Bush was better than the alternative. ...

...As far as anyone can tell today, perceptions of the economy on Election Day are going to be closer to what they were in 2008 than what they were in 2004. That’s what the Republican referendum theory has going for it. But the president’s approval rating tells a different story. Since Obama’s honeymoon ended, it has moved in a fairly narrow range, never going below 44 percent and rarely going above 51 percent in the RCP average. It doesn’t put him in cinch-to-win or sure-loser territory.

That suggests that the election is going to be a choice -- and that merely being an acceptable alternative to a failed incumbent won’t be enough for the Republicans to win the White House. "


Here is a WIKI excerpt on Ponnuru himself:

"A conservative pundit, Ponnuru has appeared in many public affairs and news interview programs. He is perhaps best known for his 2006 book, The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, published by Regnery Publishing. In response to questions about and criticism of the provocative title, Ponnuru has explained in interviews that the term is intended to define a political movement that has taken over control of the Democratic Party through abortion and other death-related issues.[SUP][2][/SUP]"

Have at it.
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Former Staff
Dec 2006
FEMA Region 10
Ah, notice how quiet the conservatives have become on this thread.

Amazingly wildly calmly funny.
And here I was just going to say the points made in th OP article are spot on. People are dismayed, and pissed.
Jun 2011
And here I was just going to say the points made in th OP article are spot on. People are dismayed, and pissed.
Go right on and say it. You are not a conservative, you are a Ron Paul supporter, and he is a libertarian with leanings in all different directions, depending on the issues. Part of what I find so fascinating about the man.

People may be dismayed and pissed, but there is still going to be an election and other elections have also happened as people were dismayed and pissed. And the incumbent still won.

Ponnuru makes some solid and very interesting points.

And tick tock tick tock.

Still no real conservative has decided to take Ponnuru, an arch-conservative, to task.