Posted by | April 11, 2011 20:13 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Yes, it is early.  And yes, at this point in his presidency, George H.W. Bush looked unbeatable.  But unlike 1991 (or 1979 for that matter) the signs point to the economy improving.  With that in mind, the first round of polling in competitive states between the president and his four most likely opponents is encouraging,

Romney and Huckabee would be underdogs but at least competitive; Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich would be wiped out. It’s going to be very difficult for any Republican to beat Obama if the economy continues its slow but steady improvement through next fall, but if the GOP winds up nominating a Palin/Bachmann/Gingrich type candidate they could be in for the biggest Democratic landslide since 1964. They make Obama competitive in places like Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota. Which is probably why the Republicans will come to their senses and pick someone less offensive.

The House Republicans have a difficult choice ahead of them.  Shut down the government or play chicken with the debt ceiling and they could torpedo the economy.  But it is likely they would be blamed and their House majority would be in danger.  Reach an agreement on long term spending and they help the economy and their reelection prospects.  But they almost guarantee President Obama’s reelection.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.