President Barack Obama will have to jump a few hurdles in his 2012 re-election campaign. According to a recent New York Times & CBS News poll, 43 percent approve of his performance.
The nation’s view of the government is even more bleak. 23 percent believe that the country is going in the right direction, while only 12 percent approve of the job Congress is doing.
“Voter mood in 2012 is the same as it was in 2008,” Dr. Dave Rausch, WTAMU professor of Political Science, said. “Voters are angry, but they can’t tap into who they’re angry at.”Although President Obama’s campaign has not had as much media attention as the 10 Republican candidates fighting for the GOP bid, Dr. Rausch predicts this will change once “the Republican field [narrows] after the Iowa caucuses.”
He also points out that incumbents like Obama face a unique challenge when they run for re-election.
“[Being] too candidate-like is a problem, but too presidential is a problem as well,” he said.
However, public relations may be the key to a strong campaign, according to Kim Bruce, instructor of Mass Communication.
“Honestly, PR helped Obama win the previous election,” said Bruce. “The Obama website is clearly the best I’ve seen for securing volunteers at this grassroots level.”
According to Bruce, candidates may also choose to tap into grassroots groups such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street into their own campaigns.
“Utilization of theses groups is likely to prove to be a deciding factor,” she said. “For Obama, this is somewhat tricky as the Occupy Movement is still in its infancy and has some problems organizationally and with some associated personnel.”
Obama may have to pull out the stops when it comes to convincing voters like senior Communication major Steven Watson.