Obama's approval rating is misleading. The economy is bad. People are anxious. Any president's approval rating would be bad in this environment. The Republicans can't run an "unnamed opponent". If they could figure a way to do this, they would, but they can't. Whichever candidate they nominate is already trailing Obama. RCP: vs. Perry + 8.2%; vs. Romney + 3%; Bachman + 14.5%. The Republican party is dominated by right-wing nut jobs, whose ideology offends most Americans. Examples: booing soldiers for being gay, cheering the idea of letting uninsured people die, etc. Most of the Republican field is unelectable. If they nominate one of their unelectabes, their chances of beating Obama become negligible. The Republicans have no plan for improving the economy. House Republicans are hell bent on proving how dangerous it is to elect Republicans, and how little they actually care about governing.