Obama Leads 2012 Opponents

Taegan Goddard links a Public Policy Polling survey [PDF] showing that President Obama would have beaten the most commonly mentioned Republican hopefuls had the election been held from October 16th to 19th and opened to registered voters.  (I hasten to add, it wasn’t.)

In fact, according to the survey, “Obama leads Mike Huckabee 47-43, Mitt Romney 48-40, Sarah Palin 52-40, and Tim Pawlenty 50-30.”

Considering that Huckabee, Romney, and Pawlenty remain virtual unknowns to most Americans and Obama is the sitting president, I’m not sure this is as depressing news for the GOP as PPP’s Tom Jensen seems to think.  Indeed, Huckabee is actually within the poll’s margin of error!

Look, the 2012 election’s a ridiculously long time from now and it’s pretty silly even talk about it.  Still, as Dave Schuler notes, it’s a Thursday.  Obama’s quite popular and, while his approval is plummeting by historical standards, it’s still pretty good all things considered.  Given our propensity for re-electing sitting presidents, the fact that the economy is bound to be better by mid-2012, and that the Republican Party seems to be in disarray, I’d say Obama is an early favorite to win a second term.  But we’ll have a much better idea in, say, two years.

My strong hunch is that neither Huckabee nor Palin will be the Republican nominee.  The party traditionally nominates the person whose “turn” it is, which would seemingly point to Romney.  But given how sick everyone is with the Washington wing of the GOP, I wouldn’t be shocked if some governor who’s never run before emerges out of nowhere.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    As you note, there is a lot of time between now and 2012. On the one hand, assume for a minute that anyone of those candidates had a double digit lead over Obama. What that would mean is the democrats would have 3+ years to hammer that person until their own mother would question if they should be elected dog catcher. Look at the last three elected presidents (Clinton, W. and Obama). None of them would have been considered a good shot at winning 3 years before their first election. So don’t discount the field here. Second, Bush looked very strong in 2001 for a second term, but because of extraordinary events. Clinton looked weak, but adapted by running against the newly elected GOP congress. Of the two, Obama is most likely to recreate Clinton if he can manage to stifle his hard left liberal impulses and govern as he campaigned.

    As far as Obama’s fall in the polls, he is really just coming down to earth. The expectations and unquestioning media adulation inflated expectations beyond reason. Given that, he has also done his utmost to govern as a hard left liberal, so at least he knows exactly where and why he is bleeding.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    As far as Obama has fallen in the polls, which some suggest is the most since Harry Truman in 1953. Looks like with the national debt as it is, and Obama spending without paying for anything yet, when the debt comes due and it will be soon as the Bush tax cuts expire and we start paying a large tax increase, with no new jobs and the democrats forcing health care reform where it is not wanted (in its current form without tort reform or interstate insurance) and the possiblity of cap and trade tax. The cost of being an American will go up radically. I do not think Obama has a chance in the next election. Nearly everyone who voted for him who is not a democrat has had their eyes opened by his dealing with foreign relations, the war in Afghanistan, and his war with Fox News. His inexperience and his agenda are showing. Bet it is not what America wants. No amount of lying will change that.

  3. Hmm…, could that poll be interpreted as saying that Huckabee is the closest to Obama in more ways than one?

  4. An Interested Party says:

    Given that, he has also done his utmost to govern as a hard left liberal…

    Oh yes…continuing the giveaways to Wall Street fat cats, dragging his feet on repeal of DADT and DOMA, doing little to look into the possibility of crimes being committed by the previous administration…why, he’s just a raging socialist! A “hard left liberal”…heh, it’s good to see that Triumph has some competition around here in the parody department…

  5. G.A.Phillips says:

    why, he’s just a raging socialist!

    Na he is more like a 3rd world commie thug, X infinity.

  6. reid says:

    Interested Party: I almost posted something similar. Some of the people here seem to live in a Beckian alternate reality where the political spectrum stretches from Olympia Snowe on the left to… well, I don’t want to think about the far right reaches. Oh, and Obama is always wrong and must always be portrayed in the worst possible light.

  7. Oh, and Obama is always wrong and must always be portrayed in the worst possible light.

    It really is Bush’s third term.

  8. floyd says:

    Here are a couple of other headlines that can be attributed to toadyism….

    “Dewey Wins!!”

    “A golfing debut with 11 aces makes Kim Jong Il the top Korean”