The way that I would recommend thinking about Mr. Obama’s re-election chances, at this early stage, is to start with the baseline re-election rate for incumbent presidents (which is about 70 percent), and then make a list of other factors that might lead one to believe that this figure overestimates or underestimates them. Under the list of favorable factors for Mr. Obama, I would include a bullet-point for “Public has tepid view of Republican candidates; Republican nominee might be weaker than average.”
Something for Republican strategists to worry about? Sure, if they enjoy worrying. But probably not something for them to lose any sleep over until and unless they are on the verge of nominating one of their more unpopular alternatives.
Nyhan goes another round.
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