If the 2012 election were held today, President Barack Obama would not only lose but “lose badly,” according to University of Virginia Center for Politics guru Larry J. Sabato.
In an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, Sabato said he expects to wait until July or August of 2012 to predict the outcome of the presidential contest.
“You look at all the available data: economic, political, social, polling – everything, and then make a judgment. We’re not anywhere close to that,” he said.
Then he added: “I will say this, though. Barack Obama is very lucky the election isn’t this November. He would lose badly if it were this November.”
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Sabato gave Newsmax a state-by-state breakdown for 2012. He predicts the Old Dominion might be the canary in the Obama’s coal mine.
“Virginia’s going to be an early indication of election night,” he said. “Virginia gave a larger percentage to Barack Obama than Florida or Ohio. If Obama can’t win Virginia for a second time, I don’t see how he carries Florida or Ohio. And, if he loses all of those key states, and North Carolina as well, how does he win?”
According to the political expert, the two swing states Obama carried in 2008 that he is most likely to lose in 2012 are Indiana and North Carolina. Indiana, he says, is “gone regardless of what happens.” But Democrats conceivably could save the Tar Heel state, he says.
“The only hesitation is they have the convention there. They picked North Carolina on purpose – convention in Charlotte on Labor Day. And because of that, the Democrats will be able to get a major organizational effort moving in North Carolina. But it’s still an uphill climb for them,” he said.
Florida, according to Sabato, will be “very tough” for Obama to win if Sen. Marco Rubio is on the GOP ticket. Otherwise, he says, the Sunshine State will be up for grabs.
If the election were held today, Sabato says, polls indicate that Ohio would go Republican.
“And what it will do in 13 months, we’ll have to see,” he added.
One of his most interesting predictions: If the GOP fails to win control of the Senate in 2012, it is a lock to do so by 2014.
“The Republicans will hold on to the House, and in the Senate they have at least a 50-50 chance of taking control,” he explained. “If by some fluke they don’t get the Senate -- say they lose by a vote in 2012 -- [then] given the combination of seats coming up in 2014, they are certain to gain it by then.”
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