On the morning that President Obama launches his reelection campaign, the Republican field of presidential candidates remains – at best – a guessing game.
Political pundits can tick off dozens of strategic reasons why the 2012 hopefuls are lying in wait. But a purely statistical analysis of a president's chances of winning reelection could be reason enough.
Nineteen presidents have sought reelection since 1900: Of those, 14 won and five lost. (That is, if you count Gerald Ford, since he wasn't elected in the first place).
Will Obama join the losers?
George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.
Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.
William Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1912.