As Cliff discussed a few days ago, 2008 was a change election where the electorate wanted the country to go in a different direction. Its hard to tell if the unpopularity of the war in Iraq or the rapidly disintegrating economy was a bigger driver of the public’s desire for change. Either way, Barack Obama was the candidate who the public appeared to trust more.
On some of the most crucial attributes, including jobs and the economy, healthcare and representing change, Barack Obama was seen by the majority of Americans as the most credible candidate.
Unfortunately for the President, this path looks like it probably will not work twice. In the April Reuters Ipsos National Poll, Barack Obama appears to enjoy very little or no lead over challenger Mitt Romney on many of these same questions.
Particularly on the key “jobs and the economy” Obama and Romney are statistically tied among likely voters. If Romney can build up a margin in this attribute and the economy worsens (again), Romney will be well positioned to take the “change” mantle from Obama.