Obama 2012: Just Like 2008?

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 16 2012 @ 12:25pm

Ronald Brownstein sees some very favorable numbers for the president:

The national Pew Research Center poll released Monday confirms that President Obama, at least for now, is reassembling the coalition that powered him to his 2008 victory. The Pew survey, closely tracking last week's ABC News/Washington Post poll, shows that in a potential general election match-up against Mitt Romney, Obama's support among many of the electorate's key groups has converged with his 2008 showing against John McCain. In almost all cases, that represents gains for Obama since polls from last year.

Ed Kilgore's review is mixed:

This is obviously just a snapshot of public opinion more than eight months from Election Day, before we know how the economic numbers stack up, what the general election campaign is like, or even whose name is on the ballot under the sign of the elephant. It also doesn’t factor in turnout patterns, or to put it another way, what segment of the electorate all those categories Ron discusses actually represent, as compared to 2008 … But it’s getting easier to imagine an Obama victory, not just as a general, abstract possibility, but in terms of the flesh and bone of an actual majority coalition of voters.

Frum sighs:

Republican strategy over the past 2 years has been premised on the assumption that President Obama is so hopelessly weakened that the GOP needn't bother addressing centrist voters at all. That was never a very plausible assumption, and now Ron Brownstein has the data to suggest that beyond "implausible," the assumption is outright wrong.

I take Kilgore's caveats. But if Santorum is the nominee – which I think is actually possible – or if a brokered convention gives Palin a central role in deciding who is, I don't think this will be 2008. I think it could be 1964. Karl Rove could get his durable majority after all – for Obama Democrats.