In the 2008 election cycle, a black, first-term senator with the middle name of Hussein fit comfortably in the category of "underdog. " Yet, Barack Obama topped former first lady and Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and defeated "maverick" and longtime Sen. John McCain for the presidency. Now, campaigning from the White House, President Obama puts is trying to claim the "underdog" label again for 2012.
"I don't mind it. I'm used to being the underdog," Obama told an interviewer who asked about his against-the-odds position for a second term. Poll numbers suggest his re-election will be a hard fight; his approval rating sits at 41 percent according to a recent Quinnipiac poll. Also worrisome for the Obama 2012 camp is that only 32 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy. As the saying goes, "It’s the economy, stupid," and that is just the platform Bill Clinton used to beat incumbent George H.W. Bush in 1992.
But recently released fundraising numbers show that Obama, poll numbers aside, still commands support. In 2011’s third quarter alone, Obama raised a combined $70 million for his 2012 campaign and the Democratic National Committee, exceeding a target of $55 million. His Republican challengers have yet to raise more than $20 million in a single quarter. Still, Obama campaign officials and allies are playing up the fact that donors giving less than $250 made up 98 percent of the contributors in the quarter, reckoning back to the grassroots energy of 2008. However, now that voters have seen him in office (and most of them are disappointed), can a grassroots, come-from-behind strategy really work again for Obama?
What do you think? Can Obama really call himself an underdog? Take the poll and comment below.
Previously: Is Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan a Good Idea?