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Posted at 2:04 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Are Obama's poll numbers dissuading challengers?

By Ezra Klein

A week ago, I wrote that Obama's peculiarly high poll numbers didn't mean much for how he'd be polling in late-2012, but they might mean a lot for whom he'll be facing:

That Obama's poll numbers looking surprisingly strong at a moment when they should be looking fairly weak might push some of the stronger candidates who are on the fence about running in 2012 -- Chris Christie, say, or John Thune -- to hold off until 2016. And a weaker field is always good for the incumbent.

Thune, it turns out, was a good example to use.

By Ezra Klein  | February 3, 2011; 2:04 PM ET
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Isn't this double counting? If history shows that a Presidential midterm approval rating has no impact on his reelection chances, then it doesn't really make sense to talk about his midterm ratings dissuading strong challengers since that will already be accounted for in the studies on reelection. If midterm ratings don't affect his reelection chances, then the effect of his midterm ratings on challengers shouldn't matter either.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 3, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama's poll numbers are not "peculiarly high" at all as Mr. Klein claims.In fact the little bump Obama got after his Tucson speech, has all but evaporated. And he got no bump at all from his State of the Union address. He is down to 46% again today - and sinking.

Posted by: Tommypie | February 4, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Ask W if he would have preferred 46% over his 22%. Gee, that's 100% better and you can tell it all over the country!!

Posted by: nettie526 | February 6, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

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