Still a long way off in 2012 is the next USA Presidential election. Some speculation as to how low President Obama's fortunes may go down in the mid terms. High unemployment, a raft of unpopular political stories from Mosques at ground zero to his Healtcare and Energy reforms to his 'Europeanisation of America' seem to be making those happy Obama voters think again. The 'Hope and Change' candidate has not delivered a lot of either.
But on numbers the Republicans have an uphill struggle every bit as large as the UK Conservatives of 1997 had to tackle. In 2008 Obama received the highest number of votes for an election candidate ever. The electoral college system requires 270 electoral college votes to become President.
Obama won with 364. Almost 100+. And McCain had just 164. To have some context George Bush, the President with the most ever votes before Obama, won his 2000/2004 elections with 271 and 286.
There has been a census, which will alter the number of votes that each state has in 2012, and it seems to favour Republican states. On the electoral map predictor , if all the states stayed the same, I make it +7 to Republicans and -4 to Democrats, moving The Republicans up to an unimpressive 171, still 99 short.
If ALL the narrow Democrat wins went Republican, and they retained all they won in 2010, they would still be 10 short.
If Obama falters in the mid terms he has two years to turn it around. USA polling has the economy and jobs as the top priorities of the electorate. A smart President can always forget his consensus politics and make his message.."Who do you think made this mess in the first place? Do you want to put those guys back in again?"
And its not as if the Republicans are a united opposition, torn between the ultra right politics of the Tea Party and trying to appeal to more than white, very conservative, over 50's.
Its going to take something quite special from the Republicans and something quite appallingly bad from the Democrats for the Republicans to to gain the White House in a single bound.
Not to say it can't be done. The USA is not the UK. Ronald Regan won 44 out of 50 states in 1980. Leaving the Democrats with a heartland of just 6. In 1984 he took those as well leaving them just Minnesota, the home state of his challenger.
A really popular candidate can overturn any majority. In 1992 Bush senior was going into the election with an electoral college win in 1988 of 426. He lost to Clinton 370 to 164. If the Republicans can find a Clinton, or an Obama , or a Regan , then they're in.