I see that the speculation over which Republican can take out Barack Obama in 2012 has already begun. Here are two pieces of literature to consider before analyzing that. First, Richard J. Cattani's article "Reagan's next two years -- through Democratic lenses," from the December 15, 1982 issue of the Christian Science Monitor.
Democrats look at the next two years as a healthy period of growth for their political stock as they watch Reagan Republicans end their second year of Washington rule.
Ironically, President Reagan himself has become the Democrats' chief rallying point and organizing factor.
A state-by-state electoral vote projection, prepared for the Monitor by Democratic professionals, shows Reagan narrowly trailing ''a Democratic contender'' 226 to 219, with 93 electoral votes in doubt. This approximates the Reagan White House's own 1984 projections disclosed earlier this week, which showed Reagan trailing Sen. John Glenn (D) of Ohio 243 to 212, with 83 toss-up votes, and marginally ahead of former Vice-President Walter Mondale. (Under US presidential election rules, in which entire blocks of state electoral votes are awarded by state popular vote, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win).
Also, this Reuters story that ran on December 31, 1994.
Nearly half of all Americans think President Clinton should not seek re-election, according to a Newsweek poll released Friday. The poll was conducted before Clinton told wire service reporters Thursday that he intends to run for office in 1996.
While 47 percent polled said Clinton should bow out of the running in two years, 44 percent felt he should seek another term. The poll showed that if the election were held today, both Colin Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who has not revealed his political party leanings, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, a Republican, could beat Clinton in a presidential heat. They would prevail 48 percent to 34 percent, and 48 percent to 38 percent, respectively.
Consider these the appendix to the ongoing series "Barack Obama wins if the economy recovers and loses if he doesn't, and nothing else really matters."