Posted by Michael Bryan
The Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina outlines several possible re-election scenarios for Obama in 2012. One of the most interesting for us is for Obama to win Arizona. With no favorite son in the race this time, Messina says that polling indicates that Arizona is winnable (Obama is beating the GOP field, except Romney who ties statistically).
I don't know whether we will see major campaigning in Arizona this Presidential season, but it certainly seems possible that Obama will make a big push for the western states. Messina is from Colorado and seems enthusiastic about putting Arizona, Colorado and Nevada in play.
Much will depend on the GOP nominee, of course. I expect that Romney will be the GOP candidate. He's well positioned to win the Iowa caucus. He continues to hold a solid 25% in Iowa polls, and he seems to get a great deal of second choice roll over from supporters of other candidates, because he is perceived as the most electable of the field. In caucuses, such second choice support is the key to victory if there is no dominant favorite going in.
Romney has a lock on New Hampshire, so it is likely that he is going to have a great deal of momentum heading into South Carolina. Even if he only places second or third there, he'll become very hard to stop, as none of the other candidates have the resources or infrastructure to sustain a protracted delegate race.
The candidate with the best chance at stopping Romney is Gingrich, but his campaign appears to hit the top of its "anybody but Romney" surge a few weeks too early. Santorum appears to be having some late success in Iowa, but try to say "Santorum surge" or, worse, "Santorum spurt" without truly unfortunate images occurring to you :)
Between Obama making a serious bid for Arizona's electoral votes and the scramble for seats in new Congressional and state legislative districts, we may see a very exciting campaign season in Arizona in 2012, indeed.