Barack Obama’s achieved his electoral “landslide” in 2008 by grabbing only 9 of the 31 States won by G.W. Bush in 2004. Obama managed his less-than-impressive feat by running against the weakest candidate fielded by the GOP since 1996. (I don’t mean to suggest that G.W. Bush was a world-beater.)
How weak was John McCain? He beat Obama in his (McCain’s) home State of Arizona by 8.5 only percentage points. In 2004, Bush beat John Kerry in Arizona by 10.5 percentage points.
How weak is Obama at this moment? His net approval rating has dropped to -5, the lowest since his inauguration. And he’s less than 6 months into his presidency.
Hint to the GOP: Stop playing nice and start attacking Obama in earnest: on his foreign policy, his defense policy, his profligate spending, his plans to socialize health care, his Supreme Court nominee, etc., etc., etc. Don’t attack Obama emotionally, attack him on the merits, with facts and figures. Do it hard and do it often, until the message sinks into the minds of all those swing voters out there.
What about 2012? Can the GOP beat Obama? Why not? A 9-State swing would do the job, and Bush managed a 10-State swing in winning the 2000 election. If Bush can do it, almost anyone can do it — well, anyone but another ersatz conservative like Bob Dolt or John McLame.