London: US President Barack Obama is likely to hit by first major scandal soon, a leading political scientist has predicted. The political scientist defines scandal as the "elite perception of misbehaviour whose occurrence is also influenced by political and media context".

Based on his mathematical interpretations, Brendan Nyhan of Michigan University has predicted in his report to 'Center for Politics' website that President Obama's administration is set to be rocked by a major controversy soon.

According to him, the possibility of a scandal hitting America's first black President may unfold before the 2012 presidential election, a newspaper reported.

"Obama has been extremely fortunate: My research on presidential scandals shows that few presidents avoid scandal for as long as he has," says his report based on interpretation of data from presidential scandals between 1977 and 2008.

He noted discontent among Republicans could contribute to encourage "opposition legislators and members of the news media to promote allegations of misconduct" against President Obama who has been in office for a little over 24 months.

Media coverage may dampen odds

Nyhan admits the probability of a scandal greatly depends on the direction media coverage in the coming months. "Continued unrest in the Middle East or other news events," he wrote, could also "dampen the odds" of a scandal breaking.

"In the 1977-2008 period, the longest that a president has gone without having a scandal featured in a front-page 'Washington Post' article is 34 months -- the period between
when President Bush took office in January 2001 and Valerie Plame scandal in October 2003," he wrote.

(Agencies)