Perry vs. Romney: Does it matter who Obama faces in 2012?

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the importance of who opposes Obama in the 2012 elections.

By Linda Feldmann
Staff Writer

Suppose for the moment that the 2012 election is just a few months away, and President Obama still has a fighting chance at reelection.

Unemployment is creeping downward, though still not far from 9 percent. The economy is still growing, barely. And Mr. Obama has managed to nudge his job approval ratings up near 47 percent.

Will it matter whom the Republican Party nominates? In a word, yes. . .

Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, frames Obama’s prospects this way: “He’s eminently beatable, and Republicans smell this. But in electoral politics, it’s always compared to whom.”

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