The Republican primary process thus far has been a boon to those of us who want to see Barack Obama elected to a second term.  By boon, I mean about as well as it could go absent a Sarah Palin veep pick type calamity.  In fact, that is what is happening.  The GOP appears to be in a struggle with itself and may again hand an election to Barack Obama.

The latest TPM poll average shows Romney falling below 40% against Obama:

Given that Santorum seems to be fading fast after last night’s debate, it looks like O’mentum may continue.  Intrade, the prediction market website, has an Obama re-election at 60%:

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That’s a real nice trend there since October.  It’s that old time O-mentum.  What’s behind the trend?

For one, the GOP does not have a solid candidate yet and that uncertainty is lending itself to Obama being generally insulated from a full on frontal assault.  This is typical of primaries, but you would think by now there would be a clear favorite.  The talk is all Romney and that will probably be where we end up, but the volatility has to be hurting the chances of getting a solid narrative off the ground for the Republican candidate.

The other thing that is preventing a solid narrative is that darned improving economy and the fact that some dude named Osama bin Laden is dead.

Two of the sharpest attacks Republicans lean on have been completely neutered!  National defense?  Check.  Economy?  Check.  Where do you think that will take us?

Duh.  The old standby.  Social issues.  It’s already happening.  Contraception, IUDs, abortion, religious freedom, ahoy!

If this election ends up being mostly about social issues I think Obama wins it going away.  Republicans will gel around whoever the nomination is – including Romney.  The only goal of conservatives is to push the eventual candidate further to the right.  Look at Romney’s battling tax plans.  Top tier are getting more and more breaks as conservatives lean and pressure.

I think independents are mostly tired of social issues, right wingers and fundamentalist Christians will do their bidding, and left wingers will get fired up and ready to go.  Voters care about one thing and that is jobs and the economy.  Things are improving, though slowly, and if that trend continues this race won’t be close.  That’s why from a legislative standpoint Republicans are doing as much obstructing as possible and talking the economy down.  Remember when that was un-American?

GM = Alive, OBL = Dead, Obama = 2012

Just give me some of that old time O’mentum!