Obama likely to face primary challenge in 2012: GOP strategist
Members of President Obama's party unhappy with his military policy choices, especially in Afghanistan, could mount a primary challenge against him, says Republican strategist Bill McInturff.
President Obama is likely to face a primary challenge for the 2012 Democratic nomination from members of his party unhappy with his military policy choices, especially in Afghanistan, says a Republican strategist
â€śA primary is, I think, more than likely,â€ť says Bill McInturff, a partner in the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies. Mr. McInturff, co-director of the NBC News-Wall Street Journal Poll, was an adviser to John McCainâ€™s 2008 presidential campaign. He spoke at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters on Thursday.
McInturff noted that in election night exit polling, people who expressed disapproval of US policy in Afghanistan â€śwere voting overwhelmingly Democrat.â€ť That unhappiness could be coupled with a potential negative response from Democratic voters as Obama tries to find common ground with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
â€śHe is going to look very, very, very, very different between now through June than he has looked the last two years,â€ť McInturff said. His polling firm worked for nine winning senate candidates, four governors, and 27 new members of Congress in the 2010 election.
â€śIf I were [recently defeated Wisconsin] Senator Feingold and I were now unemployed, I would say 'did he close Guantanamo Bay? No. He put 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan. I am not for that. He compromised too much,' â€ť McInturff said. "It is not hard to imagine what I would run on in a Democrat primary against President Obamaâ€¦. Everything I like and admire that the president has done is a reason he is in trouble in a potential Democrat primary.â€ť
Senator Feingold has been a vocal opponent of the President on Afghanistan. Feingoldâ€™s website says he â€śopposed policies such as the war in Iraq, and President Obama's military escalation in Afghanistan, which undermine our global fight against terrorism.â€ť
In his concession speech Tuesday evening, Feingold made it clear he was not leaving political life. â€śI hope and I intend to continue to work with all of you in the future as much as possible,â€ť Feingold said. â€śSo itâ€™s on to the next fight. Itâ€™s on to the next battle. Itâ€™s on to 2012. And it is on to our next adventure â€“ forward!â€ť