WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama is unlikely to face a serious challenge in the 2012 White House race from within his party, the Democratic Party leader said Sunday.
Obama, who became the first black president of the United States after defeating Republican rival John McCain in the November 2008 presidential election, is expected to run for a second term in office next year.
“I think it’s very unlikely that the president is going to face any kind of a serious primary challenge within the Democratic Party,” party leader Tim Kaine said on CNN.
“You can always get a fringe candidate or somebody to run. So, you know, could somebody throw in their name? Yes, it’s possible. But I think the likelihood of any serious challenge to the president is virtually nil.”
Usually there is no serious opposition against a sitting president from within his party if they run for a second, and final, term.
Obama has yet to officially say whether he will stand in the November 2012 election.
But amid the worst economic downturn in decades as Obama’s popularity has sunk from the heady highs he enjoyed just after taking office to a disapproval rating of around 47 percent, there has been some media speculation on a possible Democratic challenge.
No Republican candidate has yet declared plans to run for the party’s nomination, although former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin is believed to be preparing to throw her hat into the ring.