After Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President was defeated last November, British political prognosticators predicted that the result was a good omen for David Cameron and a warning for his opposite number on the Labour benches, Ed Miliband.
They are wrong.
It’s easy to see why the experts made such a mistake. After all, President Obama won reelection with unemployment hovering at 8% - something no occupant of the White House has ever done before (the closest was Ronald Reagan, who was reelected in 1984 with unemployment at 7.2%). Obama won in spite of the gridlock paralyzing Washington (for which he is largely responsible), contempt for politicians at record levels, and smoldering resentment over his reform of the American healthcare system.
President Obama also won despite his opponent, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, effectively stealing the mantle of change.
Such similarities to the political situation in the UK will not have gone unnoticed by Tory High Command. That's why, on the surface, President Obama's reelection is delightful news for Cameron. Even now, perhaps, advice is being poured into the Prime Minister's ear, urging him to follow the path blazed by the President. To win a reelection campaign of his own, all David Cameron need do is remind voters of the mess he inherited, emphasize the indicators which point to an economic recovery, and expose his opponents glaring shortcomings. Follow the Obama recipe, and another 5 years in Downing Street beckon.
But a close look at exit polling should have Conservatives nervous. It shows that Mitt Romney lost for exactly the same reasons that have damaged British Tories generally, and David Cameron in particular.