In a thoughtful post this morning Jim Geraghty offered his theory . . .
. . . that most apolitical voters desperately want to avoid concluding that the first African-American President of the United States is a failure, on par with a second term for Jimmy Carter. As a result, they will give Obama until the very last minute to demonstrate an ability to get the job done, to demonstrate that he can generate tangible improvements in their lives. But, if around October 2012, people don’t see tangible improvements in their lives, well . . . the bottom may fall out of his numbers. He’ll still have his loyal base, but the vast majority of independents will decide he just can’t get the job done.
An interesting notion; the entire post merits your attention. As I was reading it earlier today, I recalled a detail Ed Morrissey’s highlighted in his post last Friday on the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll:
Even with a skewed sample with an eight-point advantage for Democrats, only 27% of men and 32% of women say they will definitely vote for Obama in 2012, and only 31% overall. That’s actually lower than the percentage of women in the sample who are Democrats (37%) and men as well (32%).
. . . .
In comparison, 39% in this skewed sample say they will vote against Obama in 2012, thirteen points higher than the GOP representation in the sample. The same is true in the gender breakdowns, with 38% of men decided against Obama and 36% of women, both higher than those who have decided to vote for Obama, and much higher than Republican representation in the gender demo (27% of men, 26% of women).
This corresponds with other polls I’ve seen showing that more people are definitely intending on voting against the president than for him. And I wonder if part of his campaign strategy is to hike not the numbers of those definitely intending on voting for him, but on those firmly resolved to vote against the Republican nominee, whoever he is.