As Tom Brokaw astutely put it, President Reagan's popularity in the polls was even lower than Obama's are now after his first two years, and yet he was re-elected in a landslide in 1984. Why was this?
Well, historically speaking every President since Truman and Eisenhower for sure has been re-elected when Control of one or the other houses of Congress was by a party other than the first term President. So Truman, Eisenhower and Clinton all had this experience. Why did this happen?
The most likely answer is that since a President has always had the Veto power and since this President Also Has Line Item Veto power, he can almost always eliminate any progress of the opposing party. Because voters get fed up with inaction of their party, by the time of re-election the unpopular president after 2 years in office gets re-elected sometimes even by a landslide like happened with Eisenhower and Clinton.
However, because we are in The Great Recession almost anything can happen. However, after Herbert Hoover got the blame for the Great Depression (rightly or wrongly) FDR then was elected to three terms because of everyone's insecurity because of the Depression and then World War II. So, since people when they are really scared tend to stay with whatever leader they have i.e. FDR and George W. Bush then you see the likelihood no matter what inexperienced lookers might say, that there is a 50% to 75% chance that Obama will be re-elected President in 2012 just like all the Republican and Democratic Presidents who lost one of the houses of Congress before him since about 1950. This could have also been true before 1950 I just haven't done the research to know for sure.
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