A new survey from Gallup finds 81% of Democrats and 58% of independents think Obama will win another term in the White House. That translates into 56% of all Americans who think that way.
It's strange that most Americans think Obama will win, given the fact that he and Mitt Romney are virtually tied in national polls. But, it's clear Romney has an uphill fight against public perception.
It may be that Americans recognize the advantages Obama has as the incumbent and that historically, presidents seeking re-election usually win. For example, in March 2004, when President George W. Bush and John Kerry were about tied in voter preferences, more said Bush (52%) than Kerry (42%) would win. Or, Americans may expect in the months between now and the election that conditions in the U.S. will improve, which would make the incumbent's re-election more certain.
Americans are a bit more likely now to say Obama has a better chance of winning than they were at a similar point in 2008. A June 2008 Gallup poll found 52% predicting Obama would win, while 41% thought Republican John McCain would. By October 2008, weeks after the financial crisis, Americans were more certain Obama would win that election, 71% to 23%.