The writing is on the wall: Barack Obama is going to lose the presidential election in November. Mitt Romney’s efforts between now and then will have a relatively minor impact on the voters unless he makes a grave misstep.
Here are the top ten issues that will cause voters to support the alternative candidate. Every issue presented herein is virtually out of the hands of the president and his supporters.
1) The economy. There is not an issue that is going well for Obama in this area. Unemployment will continue to be extremely high when it is announced on Friday. In addition to official unemployment numbers, the situation is exacerbated by a huge number of unemployed workers who have given up their efforts to find employment.
2) Europe. Absolutely nothing will be settled on the continent before our elections. The instability created by the on again, off again negotiations between Euro zone leaders is depressing America. Corporate executives are concerned, stock market investors are skittish and people around the world are wondering why the U.S. is playing no role in the important changes that are happening in Europe. This speaks to the irrelevance of Obama in the deliberations.
3) The stock markets. Middle class investors are still far off their highpoints of wealth accumulation prior to 2008 as exhibited by lower pension and housing valuations. The continued turmoil in the world will result in no meaningful upsurge in the markets before the elections.
4) Inability to lead. Every important issue facing this country is out of the hands of Obama. His leadership is moot as best presented by his totally ineffectual impact on congressional deliberations.
5) Partisanship. Obama has done very little to make Washington a kinder and gentler place. There are very few times in history that our government has been more partisan. Voters will be reminded of this phenomenon every day on TV and ascribe most of the blame for this on Obama, whether it is true or not.
6) Iran. From my perspective, Obama does not have a clue what he should do to temper the Iranian crisis. To make matters worse, he is getting no support from the two countries that could end Iranian aggression, threats and nuclear development - China and Russia. The latter are aware that the U.S. and Obama are weak and indecisive, and hope to further erode U.S. influence in the region. It is doubtful that Obama can even impact the actions of the Israelis, who may take control of the situation in the near future.
7) The “Fast and Furious” debacle. Some people have said Attorney General Eric Holder has not done anything illegal or conspiratorial. It sure does not seem that way. Congress has already embarrassed the AG and the administration, and the former’s decision to play hardball with Congress looks bad for the Obama administration. If he has not done anything wrong, why not give Congress all the information it has requested?
8) Health care. The majority of Americans are not in favor of the current health care law. Now that Chief Justice Roberts has proclaimed it a new tax on Americans, Republicans will make hay on this issue in campaign advertisements.
9) Young, minority and disenfranchised voter apathy. Obama energized all of these groups in 2008. The magic is gone, or should I say the myth of Obama has been debunked. Many voters feel a sense of helplessness and will not vote; the vast majority of these groups would likely support Obama if they did.
10 The conservatives and the Tea Party smell blood. These groups will be totally engaged in November, as they know that Obama is vulnerable. The power of the right was obvious during the Republican primaries. I predict that Tea Party activity in swing states will have a gigantic impact on the elections.