Can Barack Obama still win the US presidential election?
Absurd just a month ago, the question seems more and more serious if we refer to opinion polls in which the outgoing president and Mitt Romney (which remains in god position to win the next 6th of November) are tied.
Of course, the incumbent president and democrat candidate comes back in the competition and seems to draw the lessons of his weird and disappointing appearance during the first TV debate in which he was outclassed by Mitt Romney, scoring decisive points by the same occasion. What is more, he was able to right the helm being more incisive and taking his challenger with more considerations then he had more before. At last, his crisis management during the crossing of the hurricane Sandy on New-York and the Atlantic coast was rather welcomed by the American opinion. Nonetheless, doubt is still here as far as far a probable re-election of the current White House tenant is concerned especially vis-à-vis Mitt Romney who become more credible and seems to become an alternative for a lot of Americans.
Barack Obama is campaigning in a harsh context dominated by the economic crisis which deeply hit the US. It is not a coincidence economic affairs are dominating the debate, a lot of Americans wondering on the capacity of the democrat president to face with the challenges they expect him once again. The former Senator of Illinois has – let’s be honest – disappointed his supporters who expected better days economically speaking, and such a resentment enjoyed to Mitt Romney considered as more credible on this point.
Furthermore, the GOP candidate’s strategy seems to be more efficient then it was considered finally. Delivering a very conservative speech during the republican primaries, Mitt Romney progressively adopted a more centrist attitude, destabilizing the Obama camp who did not really expect that. Such a strategy was quite risky but finally successful insofar as only some weeks ago, the former Massachusetts governor re-launched his campaign, remobilizing in the same time, his camp and enjoying the strategic mistakes of his rival but not giving the decisive hit to the outgoing president.
In these conditions, it is difficult to Barack Obama to campaign and hope an overwhelming re-election both. The current US president clearly understood that and has to prove to the American people, he is the man of the situation, the man who will be able to put the situation right and the US on new tracks despites his mistakes, the mitigated outcome and the disappointment he made (equal to the hope he provoked in 2008). To be brief, Obama must show he can be a rallying person – a classic strategy for any outgoing president campaigning for a new term – face to the incertitude that a probable Romney’s victory might cause.
In fact, Obama must prove himself, more than four years ago when he enjoyed the erosion of power, the unpopularity of George Walker Bush and the mistakes of his republican challenger John Mc Cain to win. His supposed inexperience even became a major asset, which allowed him to put his famous campaign motto “Yes we can” much more forward. This is completely different four years later and he is aware he will have to struggle to keep his position, despites the very latest polls which are favourable especially in the Swing States as Ohio and Iowa, States which will make the final choice.
Acting as a rallying person, Barack Obama can hope to get a second (and last) term as US president. Nonetheless, it is going to depend on his capacity to mobilize his troops and to be realistic vis-à-vis Mitt Romney who did not say his last word and really believes on his chances.