Obama is going to win again in 2012. No question. The economy may not have recovered as quickly as all of us would like, but if we all ask ourselves that same question Reagan famously asked in 1980, yes, most of us are indeed better off than we were 4 years ago, and we are heading in the right direction. The credit card industry has been overhauled for the better under Obama, for one thing. His order to kill bin Laden acting on good intelligence will likely go down in history as one of the most courageous decisions any president has ever made, and his batting average against many other top terrorists may be the most impressive of any president I've ever seen. Obamacare, even though it mostly passed on partisan lines, has helped a lot of people including myself when it comes to paying for doctor's visits and prescription drugs.
Romney has clearly been struggling for quite some time now--he's less likeable, most people see him as an elitist favoring the rich, and he is a pathological flip-flopper on many key issues such as HEALTH CARE, abortion rights, gays in the military, assault weapons, and so on. Flip-flopping, as many of you might recall, was also a big problem Kerry had in the 2004 election (he was for and later against NCLB, the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, the whole $87 billion thing, etc.) and everyone knows what happened to him. It doesn't matter what party you're from--most people aren't going to vote for extreme flip-floppers and shady wealthy guys that the common person won't be able to identify with. This is an undeniable fact. Furthermore, the question as to when or if Romney will ever release his tax returns will continue to dog him until he releases them, and he can thank his dad for that.
In light of the fact that Romney selected Ryan as his running mate, that further cements the fact that he's going to lose. Any conservative running mate is just asking for a death wish, because conservatives by their very nature hold views that alienate large and important groups of voters. Most young people, old people, women, black people, poor people, middle-class people and uninsured people and so on are already going to gravitate towards Obama, and after that, who's left? Far-right wealthy men, a statistically insignificant number of people from the aforementioned groups and a small number of independents? That's not enough to win any election. To be fair, Romney never really had a lot of options, but his best option would have been to pick a more moderate Republican like Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins, or an independent moderate--that would have really shaken up the race. Ryan's budget plan is already highly unpopular, especially with older people that depend on Medicare.
The fact that Ryan was selected as the VP nominee really exemplifies Romney's extremely bad judgment when it comes to making critical decisions, and that's something I'm sure he's going to continue carrying with him to the presidency.
Let's also quickly go back in time to look at presidents who served just one term (or a little less, in Ford's case) and figure out just why they failed in their re-election bids...
Ford pardoned Nixon over Watergate (even though he got praised for it years later) and faced a tough primary challenge by Reagan, which he survived, but it weakened him. The political environment at the time wasn't very good for most Republicans. He also fucked up in his debates with Carter.
Carter was dogged by inflation that worsened since he took office, gas lines, high unemployment and the Iranian hostage crisis (not to mention that Operation Eagle Claw was a massive failure in April 1980). There's the killer rabbit incident too. Plus, he faced a well-known Democratic primary challenge by Ted Kennedy, though survived it leaving weaker.
Bush 41 broke his "no new taxes" pledge in 1990, didn't give the public confidence that he could adequately manage the recession he was hit with, puked on then-Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa in January 1992 by accident, and surprise surprise...also faced a Republican primary challenge by Pat Buchanan that certainly hurt him. Ross Perot obviously challenged both him and Clinton, but lost.
What's the common thread here? All of these presidents that failed in their bids for re-election had some big fuck ups, but even more importantly, they all faced a significant primary challenge against someone else within their own party. If Obama was going to lose this year, that loss would have been foreshadowed a long time ago by a high-profile Democratic primary challenger...and that challenger was obviously never there. Under most other conditions, it's nearly impossible to defeat any incumbent president.
It's going to be nearly impossible for Obama to lose going by both historical precedent and current trends whether anyone likes it or not. We can go on all day about which candidate has better policies, but there's no question here as to who will win. I'm an independent moderate and I can safely say that Obama has this election.