11/02/2010 05:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Axelrod Memo to Obama: Election 2012

Mr. President,

As the world waits to see just how badly we fare in Election 2010, it's not too early to look ahead to that all-important contest just around the corner -- Election 2012.

Here's my considered assessment: as Jon Stewart might put it, dude - it's bad out there.

How bad?

This bad: nearly half of all Democrats are now turning against you and say you should be challenged for the party nomination. A new AP poll found "widespread disenchantment" with you within our own party, not to mention, of course, the other half of the country -- which really hates you.

Who are these Democratic Party poopers? Hillary's people, of course! Less educated, less liberal and likelier to have backed her in the primaries, and then McCain in the general. Whites, men, and seniors ... still clinging to Hill along with their religion and their guns, no doubt.

Giving her State was the wisest insurance policy we ever bought.

And yes, I know, we haven't even lost the midterms yet and here I am worrying about 2012 ... And I know that that early polls mean little, your re-election campaign is still a long way off, and that any real challenge is unlikely (although I'm sure Dennis Kucinich can be persuaded to jump in again.)☺

I also know that at this stage in their presidencies, both Clinton and Reagan had approval ratings that were lower than yours now -- and that both won second terms -- while higher ratings for HW and Carter didn't forestall their defeats.


We still must take this as an early warning sign. Here are some things to focus on turning around:

* 1 in 7 who voted for you on Election Day 2008 now say you should be defeated.

* More than 1 in 4 who thought you understood "the problems of ordinary Americans" now say you don't -- and that you don't care about people like them and or share their values.

* One-quarter of those who had a favorable opinion now view you negatively.

Still, there is some good news: three in four Democrats still want you re-elected and you are only trailing among Independents by ten -- 46 percent to 36 percent.

Boss, let me make one thing clear: Campaign 2010 --make that 2012! -- should begin today -- right here, right now.

I suggest we get cracking and start blaming the Republicans straight away.