At this point, the smart money is on Barack Obama getting re-elected, writes Steve Kornacki at Salon. Even Republicans tend to agree, as this Politico story pointed out. While it's not surprising that Obama has rebounded from those one-termer predictions of a few months ago, it is surprising at how quickly he's done it, writes Kornacki. Reagan and Clinton also recovered from mid-term swoons, but they needed far more time—and tangible signs of progress—to do so.
"My guess is that Obama is now benefiting from memories of the Reagan and Clinton experiences," writes Kornacki. Their comebacks were nearly unprecedented. "But now that we have both the Reagan and Clinton examples to point to, our instinct is to assume that Obama's first term will play out similarly—and to look for evidence that confirms this. Thus, his lame-duck successes and modest gains in popularity have taken on outsize significance. We may not be there yet, but we all know (or think we know) where this is heading, because we've seen it before." Click for the full column.