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Teixeira: Obama on Track to Match 'O8 Numbers

Democrats can take encouragement from TDS Co-Editor Ruy Teixeira's article at The New Republic, "Why Obama's Re-Election is Going to Look a Lot Like 2008." Teixeira reviews the current political landscape's GOP blunders and economic gains favoring Dems, and adds:

...It's not just anecdotal evidence that suggests Obama's re-election chances have improved--most of the polling data suggests the same. Obama has been running consistently ahead of his most likely challenger, Mitt Romney, in national polls--by an average of 4 points according to the Pollster.com website. Indeed, the closer you look at the numbers, the more reassuring the news: Obama, it seems, is well on his way to reconstructing the very coalition that elected him in 2008.

Consider these results from a recent Pew Center poll. In this poll, Obama is 8 points ahead of Romney, close to his victory margin in 2008 (7 points). But what is especially fascinating in this poll is its internals--how Obama is faring with key subgroups of voters. Start with minorities. Obama gets 93 percent of the black vote (he got 95 percent in 2008) and 79 percent of minorities overall (he got 80 percent in 2008). (The poll does not provide data on Hispanics, but the two most recent national polls of Hispanics give him 67 percent of these voters, identical to his 2008 performance.)

He also gets 44 percent of the white vote, compared to 43 percent in 2008. Moreover, if you break the white vote down by working class and college-educated, his performance is even more impressive. Among white college-educated voters he ties Romney 49-49, compared to the 4 point deficit he ran against John McCain, and loses white working voters by only 41-55, compared to his 18 point deficit against McCain.

Teixeira then takes a look at the factors driving forecasting models and sees more good news for Dems, especially in terms of the favorable change in the unemployment rate. Teixeira cites other improving economic statistics and notes that Nate Silver's state-of-the-art forecasting model "gives Obama a 60 percent chance of winning, given a 2.5 percent growth rate this year and current job approval levels." Teixeira adds that Alan Abramowitz's forecasting model also give the President a good change to replicate his '08 margins of victory.

In addition, notes Teixeira, President Obama's rough first year in office may actually help him as voters contrast it with the recovery from those horrific economic numbers voters will hang on the previous administration. Teixeira adds that Larry Bartel's forecasting model gives Obama an additional 7 percent bonus for managing the recovery.

Teixeira cautions against overconfidence, but concludes that "...the factors underlying these forecasts suggest that the recent re-emergence of Obama's coalition is no fluke. If current trends continue, there's a good chance that election day 2012 will look a lot like the one from 2008."