Let's say rather than Progressives attempting to organize a primary challenge to Obama, Bernie Sanders decides to establish and run as an Independent Progressive. He chooses as his running mate Lincoln Chafee. Let's assume that with the instability in financial markets, a double dip occurs, and unemployment is at about 10.5% by November 2012, after falling from a peak of 11% in early 2012. Who wins in such a scenario?
My guess would be something similar to this. Romney wins in an electoral landslide, but not as comfortably in the popular vote because the populist rhetoric of Sanders wins over some Conservative-leaning voters in the Rustbelt and Sunbelt. Sanders wins Vermont, Minnesota, and Rhode Island's electoral votes, and nearly wins in Wisconsin, Washington, and Iowa. The only state Obama only wins above 50% is Hawaii. The Democrats receive their lowest percentage of the vote ever in the District of Columbia because of Sanders. Oregon, Maine, Washington, Wisconsin, and New Jersey are won by Romney do to vote splitting between Obama and Sanders. Obama is pushed into third place in Vermont, Arkansas, Oregon, Utah, Iowa, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Minnesota, Maine, and Alaska. Romney also does extremely well in the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions of the country, and does slightly better than McCain in the South.