Does Obama Stand a Chance in 2012?

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Super smart guy Nate Silver looked at the statistical likelihood of Obama's re-election for this week's New York Times magazine. There's a reason the Democratic National Committee has started with the ads attacking Romney already:

We begin with the worst of these situations for Obama: Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, and economic growth, rather than continuing along sluggishly, comes to a halt (perhaps the debt dominoes have fallen in Europe). Under these assumptions, Obama would only have a 17 percent chance — about one in six — of winning a majority of the popular vote.

His chances are slim enough in this case that if I woke up next November to discover that we would have four more years of Obama, I might ask whether there was some sort of October surprise: “Mitt in Torrid Affair With Filipina Housekeeper.” Subhead: “Illegal Immigrant Got Free Romneycare.” Then I might ask if Sarah Palin had run on the Tea Party ballot line and taken 6 percent of the vote.

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