|November 6, 2012
BY S.E. CUPP, NY Daily News
If President Obama wins Tuesday -- and I've said I expect him to -- there will be many on the left who declare the presumably close re-election victory a mandate for four more years of Obama policies. It will fly in the face of common sense and polls -- an Oct NBC/WSJ poll found only 4% would like a repeat of the first term if Obama wins -- but it won't stop "Obamastorians" (the pundits looking to cement Obama's historic legacy before it is actually known) from waxing poetic on the significance of his win.
And it will be historic. No President since FDR has been re-elected with unemployment over 7.2%, and few incumbents with Obama's socioeconomic contributions -- staggering spikes in poverty and income inequality -- get handed the reins for another term.
Further, when incumbents win in the modern era, they generally win decisively. As Christian Whiton writes in the Daily Caller, "Obama would be re-elected with fewer popular and Electoral College votes than he received in his first election, which would be the first time since 1940 that an incumbent President has been re-elected without improving on his previous electoral performance."
In fact, if Obama's legacy matters at all to him and his supporters, he may want to hope for a loss on Tuesday. Because there's no indication that a second term will be anything but disastrous for him.