January is not yet over, but it has been a very good month for President Obama's political prospects. It began with the meteoric rise of Senator Santorum and Governor Romney struggling in the Iowa caucus on January 3rd. Few things lift Democratic hearts more than the sight of Republicans falling in love with Senator Santorum who brands the Republican party in a uniquely unattractive manner.
Then came January 6th and the news that the nation added another 200,000 jobs in December 2011, as the American economy grows. America's growth stands in strong contrast to the United Kingdom, where austerity economics that is championed by the President's opponents pushes the UK into a deepening recession, with its GDP actually declining once again. Five to 6 more jobs reports like that of December 2011 would nail down the election for President Obama.
But even if he does not get good jobs reports going forward, President Obama has the gift that keeps on giving: The Republican Circular Firing Squad. Republicans are in the process of spending probably $20 million or more on savaging each other in Florida. Romney alone is reportedly unloading $13 million of negatives on Newt in the Sunshine state.
That sunny binge of mutually assured destruction follows $10 million or more flung destructively by Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul at each other in South Carolina.
Between South Carolina and Florida, the American people are learning that Romney had a notorious Swiss Bank account, as well as bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda and pays 13.9% in taxes, despite annual income over $20 million. They are hearing endless stories about Romney buying companies and loading them with debt to leverage big returns for himself and his investors, while many jobs were lost. They are being told that Gingrich was sanctioned for ethics violations in the house, run out of the Speaker's chair, and that he is a mentally-unbalanced influence peddler. That is not counting what his second wife has to say, and what she has to say will not help him in the general election with women.
The result of all this is that the favorability ratings of Romney and Gingrich have collapsed. By about 2-1, the American people disapprove of both of them. Each of their disapproval ratings are above 50% and have spiked since December 2011. Mutually Assured Destruction at work.
Meanwhile more and more data show Obama gaining strength. He has slightly positive approval rating--48 to 46-- in this week's Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. Yesterday, Terry Madonna's poll had the President beating Romney by 11 points in Pennsylvania, a growing margin from the October 2011 poll.
If President Obama's spring is like his January, the election will be over before Labor Day. Of course, perhaps events will turn, and the spring will be cruel to the President. But right now the trends and odds are mounting in his favor.