Pundits everywhere are confidently opining about what this decision means for Obama’s re-election bid. My recommendation to you? Don’t believe any of them. No one knows how this one is going to play out yet. Even though we can’t predict the outcome, here are five questions worth contemplating:
1. Will this election still be about the economy? With the unemployment rate above 8 percent, President Obama isn’t a sure bet to win re-election. Mitt Romney has already made the president’s handling of the economy the primary focus of his campaign. But will this move now make the 2012 election more about social issues than the economy? I’m betting that the president’s team hopes so and that they’ve seen polling numbers to give them confidence that this will help their effort. If that’s true, will Mitt Romney take the bait, or will he keep the focus on the economy?
2. How will this play in swing states? North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Colorado (and others) are considered swing states. How will voters in those states respond?
3. How will this affect turnout? Will Democratic-leaning independents stay home? Will the president electrify younger voters who otherwise might have stayed home?