It has been well established that the 2012 primary cycle has been unusual, and has left many political operatives scratching their heads. Today, prominent Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg indicated that he thinks the general election will not be any different.
"What's normal anymore?" Greenberg asked reporters. "I think we have to assume this election will not be governed by normal rules."
Greenberg is the chairman and CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic polling and strategy firm which has represented a variety of prominent Democratic candidates and organizations, including President Bill Clinton.
At a pen and pad briefing in Washington, D.C., Greenberg expressed confidence in President Obama's prospects for re-election, as well as the likelihood of Democrats doing well in House and Senate elections.
However, he believes that "both parties are in trouble" in this cycle. He argues that it's "apples and oranges" for Democrats and Republicans.
Findings by the firm indicate that Democrats face declining in support from young voters - a voting block that turned out in huge numbers for Obama in 2008. The same research suggests that Republicans are facing a decrease in support from senior citizens.
In both cases, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner's findings demonstrate that these two voting blocks are moving more towards the undecided column.
"There's enormous uncertainty," explained Greenberg.
Greenberg argues that voters will likely be swayed by functionality; instead of voting based on party affiliation, voters will be moved to vote against candidates perceived as being dysfunctional.
Greenberg cited a number of additional variables which he thinks will have an impact on the outcome of the race. He believes endorsements from popular governors, particularly in swing states, will play an important role in the general election, as will turnout from individuals identifying with the tea party movement and occupy movement, respectively.