Obama Polling Badly Against Prospective 2012 Opponents

The results of a new poll may have President Obama worrying about 2012 already.

A new Public Policy Polling poll has President Obama putting in a pretty bad showing against the most commonly mentioned potential Republican nominees in 2012:

With his approval numbers hitting new lows it’s no surprise that Barack Obama’s numbers in our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race are their worst ever this month. He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46. The only person tested he leads is Jan Brewer, who doesn’t have particularly high name recognition on the national level at this point.

It’s not that any of the Republican candidates are particularly well liked. Only Huckabee has positive favorability numbers at 37/28. Romney’s at 32/33, Gingrich at 32/42, Palin at 37/52, and Brewer at 17/20. But with a majority of Americans now disapproving of Obama it’s no surprise that a large chunk of them would replace him as President if they had that choice today.

There are two things driving these strong poll numbers for the Republican candidates. The first is a lead with independents in every match up. Romney leads 48-35 with them, Gingrich is up 50-39, Huckabee has a 46-40 advantage, Palin’s up 47-42, and even Brewer has a 38-37 edge.

The other thing causing the Republicans to do so well is that their party is unified around them to an equal or even greater extent than Democrats are around Obama. Huckabee’s getting 85% of the Republican vote to Obama’s 82% of the Democrats, Romney’s at 82% in his party to Obama’s 80%, Gingrich and Obama are each getting 83% of their party vote, and Palin and Obama are each getting 81% of theirs.

For the most part, it’s clear that these numbers are more of a reflection of the President’s declining approval numbers than they are of any particular surge on the part of any of his prospective opponents. For that reason, I don’t think they have any predictive value when it comes to what the situation in 2012 will actually be. For one thing, that will depend largely on the state of the economy two years hence and, for another, as Ann Althouse notes, the situation is likely to change when voters actually have to make a decision:

I still think that once the race gets going and people really look at, say, Romney right next to Obama — really picture the other guy as President — the eagerness to oust Obama will cool off.

Is it possible that Obama will be a one term President ? Certainly, if the right factors (or wrong factors, depending on your political preferences) come into play. This poll, however, doesn’t really tell us anything about that.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Sarah Palin, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grampagravy says:

    This is “kill the umpire” with about as much predictive value as the baseball chant.

  2. Herb says:

    Oh, I don’t know…I think Obama has more to worry about than the latest weekly poll.

  3. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    What can you expect from an idiot who wants to invest large amounts of money on technology that as of yet does not truely exist at the level needed to repower this country. If this dope would use that money to invest in extraction of known energy sources, not only would jobs be produced. Costs would go down an the economy would grow. When you put agenda before reality the economy will suffer. But then, if you read Alinsky’s book. That was the purpose in the first place. If there are those here who think Romney is a poor choice against Obama. Check out their records when it comes to dealing with problems. If Romney had been the Republican nominee, we would not be having this problem. But not enough people then saw Obama as what they see him now to be. The word in question is Socialist. According to a recent poll 55% of Americans think Obama is a socialist.

  4. just me says:

    I think this says more about the weakness of Obama right now than the relative strength of any potential opponents.

    I do think questions about who you will vote for at this juncture is way too soon for anything predictive. But if I was in the Obama camp I would be worried about 2012.

  5. Tano says:

    “He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46.”

    Here we go again. Why is this stuff so predictable?
    Time released a poll yesterday that had the 2012 matchup as Obama – 55%, Palin 34%.
    Funny how polls like that never get much mention.
    They are, of course, far more credible, given that we see consistently that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not see Palin as minimally qualified for the job. Even the cited poll here has her favorability/unfaborability at 37/52. So this poll is incoherent enough to show only 37% having any sort of a favorable view of her, yet 46% would vote for her as president???? How dumb do you have to be to believe that?

    And we still see, despite Doug’s constant repetition of the opposite, that Obama does not have declining numbers, but is at the EXACT same point as he was in mid March. In fact, since February, his approvals have been bouncing slightly around a pretty constant horizontal.

    After thousands of stories about Obama’s declining numbers, they remain where they have been for half a year. This is rapidly becoming one of the great “emperor has no clothes” stories of modern times.

    I mean fer chrissakes, Doug even links to a nearly horizontal (over 6 months) graph and pretends that it is evidence of some significant decline. Its like Orwell visiting Kafkaland or something….

  6. Juneau: says:

    Palin 46 – Obama 46 ? Uh Oh. This is just….. delicious. Like watching the plot of a movie where you can see the evil prince beginning to sweat as the underdog starts to get the upper hand. Some days you’re down, and then you’re right back up again.

  7. floyd says:

    Fasten your seatbelts,and hide your wallets folks, you’re in for the full eight year roller coaster ride.

    Come on kids from eight to eighty
    Hey there mister bring your lady
    There’s a big show on the inside
    It’s carnival time

    Popcorn, peanuts and cotton candy
    Pink lemonade that’s dan-dan-dandy
    Be a big shot for a dollar
    It’s carnival time

    Roustabouts are roustabout’n
    And there’s happy shouts, children shoutin
    If you’ve got doubts quit your doubtin’
    There’s thrills, it’s spice
    It’s cheap at half the price
    So don’t be bashful, buy a ticket
    Get the habit never kick it
    Hit the band there, don’t just stand there
    It’s carnival time

    Don’t forget every roller coaster is down hill after the initial lift. All that screaming is for naught. We’ll come to a full stop at the bottom. Don’t worry, we all know you can trust the carneys in control.

  8. Robert C. says:

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:
    Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 18:23
    “What can you expect from an idiot who wants to invest large amounts of money on technology that as of yet does not truely exist at the level needed to repower this country.”

    Soundslike old ZR is describing “Stars Wars” (SDI)…which is held near and dear by Republicans and the military-industrial complex.

  9. Trumwill says:

    Even the cited poll here has her favorability/unfaborability at 37/52. So this poll is incoherent enough to show only 37% having any sort of a favorable view of her, yet 46% would vote for her as president???? How dumb do you have to be to believe that?

    Bush outperformed his approval numbers in 2004. Sometimes it’s not whether you have a favorable opinion of someone so much as how unfavorable your opinion is of the person they are running against. I know a number of people with an unfavorable view of McCain who nonetheless voted for him.

    That being said, if I were Obama (and not worried about what happens to the country in the unlikely event that I lose) I would still be crossing my fingers for Palin.

  10. anjin-san says:

    Something for right wing fruitcakes to jerk off to. Not much meaning beyond that.

  11. Tano says:

    “Bush outperformed his approval numbers in 2004.”

    There is a difference between approval numbers and favorability numbers. Pollsters tend not to ask the approval question of people like Palin – people who do not have a job. Approval means job approval. How well do you think they are doing their job.

    Favorability refers to more of a personality question. Do you like them or not.

    If you check on these numbers over at PollingReport.com you will find that Bush’s favorability numbers were pretty much the same, or slightly higher than his vote share (if you allocate the undecideds in the favorability polls).

    I seem to recall that Bush’s job approval numbers were also in the range of his reelect numbers.

  12. Gah, am I the only one who, while not liking Obama, is completely unexcited by any of the Republican alternatives mentioned?

  13. floyd says:

    SD;
    No.

  14. An Interested Party says:

    Ahh, but what other possible Republican alternatives would excite? Mitch Daniels? Jeb Bush? John Thune? Slim pickings…

  15. grampagravy says:

    The Republicans have been trying to sell from an empty wagon since the end of the “shrub” era.
    Most likely they will choke to death trying to swallow the Tea Party and all that irrational anger they were hoping to hoping to harness.