Regardless of the opinions of citizens and of others from foreign countries about American politics, the statistics of American political history show that whenever the employment rate is as high as it is today in the U.S. and when the economy is doing as poorly as today, no incumbent president has ever been reelected. Nonetheless, this is a new age, for now America has truly what John Stuart Mill termed "the tyranny of the majority" and candidates in either party can say anything and many will give them credibility.
Well, personally, I would like him to win, but I guess it is too early to tell. It depends a lot on the way that the economy is going and how his popularity stands in the media by the time of the election. I think it will also be interesting to see what candidate will represent the Republicans as well. If it is Sarah Palin, I think Obama is safe! I do hope however that it will be recognised that Obama has done a good job under extremely challenging and difficult circumstances, and hopefully this will get him into another term.
The re-election of President Obama will depend on several things. In and of itself, his presidency has not been strong enough to ensure re-election. However, the Republican party is so divided, that it is hard to imagine a strong front runner coming from that party. However, on the other hand, the change that was an integral part of the Obama platform seems not to have materialized. I would suspect that most Americans find themselves no better off, or even worse off, than they were when he took office. This could work in the Republicans favor.
My guess is that he will be re-elected, not so much because of his accomplishments, which are problematic; but because the Republican party has fractured itself so badly it will be unable to offer a viable candidate. The worst thing to ever happen to the Republican Party is the rise of the Tea Party. Although they claim to be independent, almost all vote Republican. They have no platform or policy, they only know that which they oppose. They apparently envision a society with no taxes and no government, and to that end have fielded candidates who are comical at best. There is no true statesman at the moment in the Republican party. Until such time as one arises, not only will Obama be re-elected; the Democrats will take control of both houses of Congress.
It seems likely at this point, but as other posters have stated, 18 months is a political eternity, and anything can happen.
The biggest obstacle for the Republicans at this point is the field of candidates. In order to have a chance at organizing a ground game and raising money to compete in the Iowa primary, candidates should already be in that state and officially in the race.
Candidates such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and potential candidates Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin are not serious electoral threats to someone as politically savvy and well spoken as the President.
Jon Huntsman of Utah could pose a challenge, but he will have to walk a fine, perhaps impossible, line between a base split between Tea Party activists, business Republicans and social conservatives. Embracing Medicare cuts as Paul Ryan has done seems necessary to survive a primary, but deadly for the general election.
Mitt Romney has money, experience, and strong ties to the business community, but is going to be damaged by starting a state health care plan in Massachusetts that is very similar to the national plan of the President. Tea Partiers will run against him on that platform, and it remains to be seen whether southern states will embrace a candidate of the Mormon faith.
Anything can happen, and political and economic fortunes can turn on a dime in this environment, but at the moment, it appears to be President Obama's to lose.
I don't think there is much to add to what the previous posters have said. I agree heartily that it will really come down to how the economy (and unemployment figures) are doing in a year and a half, and whether or not there are any new terrorist attacks on Americans during this time.
While it is true that the death of Osama Bin Laden did help Obama's numbers, I think the glow of that victory will have faded by election time.
It will also depend on whether or not Obama suffers any scandals between now and then or if he says something stupid that riles up either the Republicans or his base.
I'm curious to see how his recent recommendation that Palestine and Israel return to the 1967 borders will play out. It seems to have angered many who support Israel...and they can be quite a strong voting block.
Without getting political here, I'll just say that it's all about the economy and unemployment numbers. (Remember that fun quote, "It's the economy, stupid"?) If the economy is still in the tank with gas prices soaring and the unemployment numbers rising to the projected 9%, he just might be a one-termer. If not, there is simply no way any Republican could beat him. Period.
The best answer to this is "only time will tell." The recent death of Osama Bin Laden has boosted Obama's credentials and popularity enormously, accomplishing something as President that neither Bill Clinton nor George Bush was able to do. As the previous post mentioned, if Obama can find a way to help revive the disastrous economic situation that was handed to him by former President Bush, his chances are still good. The Republican candidates who have lined up to challenge him range from weak (Herman Cain) to oddball (Ron Paul) to unknown (Tom Miller) to disgraceful (Newt Gingrich). Only Mitt Romney would offer much of a challenge--and a credible candidacy--at this point, and polls claim that he would lose if the election was today.
It is too hard to know what will happen in the next year and a half. Anyone who says that they know that Obama will or will not be reelected is just talking.
One of the main things that will determine what happens in the 2012 election is the economy. If the economy gets better by the time the general election comes around, it is very likely that Obama will be reelected. He has not to this point done anything that has been fatal to his chances for reelection. He did push the "Obamacare" reforms, but those are not terribly unpopular among independents and Democrats.
So I believe that the 2012 election will depend on the state of the economy and on any events (terrorist attacks, etc) that happen in between now and then.