I've been noticing a trend in polls over the last few months. President Obama's approval rating hasn't been climbing, and in any poll of Obama vs. "generic Republican" for the uncoming Presidential election, Obama loses solidly. But plug in the names of any of the current Republican candidates in place of "generic Republican", and the result flips; now Obama leads by a solid 8-10%.
I predict that Obama will get a second term in this election, and that he will take it as a mandate to continue and ramp up his agenda. But I posit that this does not in fact represent a real success of Obama, of his policies, of his administration, or of the Democrat party.
What it represents is a complete failure of the Republican party to show the slightest sign of any awareness of the mood of the electorate or the state of the nation, and in particular how tired the voters are of a Congress owned lock, stock and barrel by megacorporations and megabanks. Obama may not be doing anything tangible to change this, but he at least made a few of the right noises in his State of the Union campaign speech; and that's good enough for a large number of voters — even when he then turns around and brokers a mortgage settlement with the banks that amounts to slapping them lightly on the wrists and handing them a Get Out Of Jail Free card.