Bank of America® Merrill Lynch is already handicapping the 2012 election. The experts at the banking giant seem convinced that President Barack Obama will only see one term.

According to a story by John Carney over at CNBC, Bank of America® Merrill Lynch has crunched the numbers and is predicting a narrow Republican victory in the 2012 election, as well as a Republican Senate majority.

BofA Chief Economist: Obama Won’t Win

Carney speaks with Ethan Harris, BofA’s chief North American economist about the findings, and Harris only sort of hides his anti-regulatory and therefore partisan biases against the president. Harris claims that an Obama loss and Republican domination of Washington will be good for the economy because the country won’t have to deal with the political brinkmanship that plagued the capitol over the last few years — the debt ceiling, the shutdown, etc.

Any objective observer might note that the partisan rancor and brinkmanship that have come to characterize any and all news out of Washington is a direct product of Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise on anything — anything at all. Without a majority, they act as if they have a mandate, with their goal being to toss Obama and the Democrats out of office by making them look ineffective.

Either way, Harris says that an all-Republican Washington would be good for the country and economic growth. He predicts that Republicans would do what they could to weaken health care reform — which he refers to as “ObamaCare” belying his supposedly disinterested nonpartisan approach to this matter — and the Dodd-Frank bill, extend the Bush tax cuts, and probably not cut defense spending.

Because they’re serious about trimming the deficit, see!

To see someone assign no blame to a party for stalling the workings of our federal government under the banner of fiscal austerity, then predict that they would later do nothing to help fix the situation once they had gained power, and say that this would help the economy is, quite frankly, sickening.

Who Does BofA Want to Win?

Out of curiosity, we took a trip to OpenSecrets, to see which pony Bank of America® has put most of their money on in this election. In case you couldn’t guess, the number one recipient of Bank of America® political contributions this year is Mitt Romney, with $63,700. He’s followed by incumbent Barack Obama, who received $24,212 so far. But what financial institution worth their salt wouldn’t hedge their bets?

Historically, Bank of America® has been on the fence between parties, according to OpenSecrets. This year, though, their spending skews hard right — and incidentally so does their independent analysis of the likely outcome of the 2012 election.

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