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Obama Loses Re-Election Support in New Poll

Obama Loses Re-Election Support in New Poll

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - July 28, 2011


A new national poll shows President Obama's edge over a generic Republican challenger in 2012 shrank by 10 points in the past three months.

Now, just 41 percent of registered voters say they would send the president back to the White House while 40 percent prefer to elect a Republican candidate, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In May, the president led a generic Republican, 48 percent to 37 percent.

The Pew poll suggests independent voters are driving this drop. In May, 42 percent of independents supported Obama's re-election, while 35 percent preferred his challenger. Now, that figure is upside down: 31 percent of independents are inclined to vote for him in 2012 while 39 percent want to replace him with a Republican.

Additionally, 54 percent of independents disapprove of Obama's job performance while 36 percent say he is doing a good job as president, down 13 points since May. Among all registered voters, his approval ratings are under water, 48 percent to 44 percent.

On the Republican side, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to lead the field. Twenty-one percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents support Romney. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hasn't announced a decision about a bid, sits in second place with 12 percent. Tea Party darlings Sarah Palin and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann tie for third with 11 percent support. Behind them, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and businessman Herman Cain come in at 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively. None of the remaining candidates garnered more than 3 percent support.

Among Tea Party supporters, Romney and Perry tie for first with 16 percent. Bachman is close behind them with 14 percent, and Palin and Cain have 12 percent.

The buzz surrounding a possible Perry run continues to mount. RCP reported this week that he is eyeing a mid- to late-August campaign launch. Though still not a candidate, the three-term governor is drumming up the most support (22 percent) from Republicans who say they've thought seriously about the election. Fifteen percent of those voters back Romney, while 13 percent support Bachmann, and 12 percent choose Cain. Among Tea Partiers who have given the most thought to the race, Perry garners 29 percent support. Cain comes in second with 16 percent, Bachmann has 14 percent, and Romney has 11 percent.

For this poll, Pew surveyed 1,501 adults, including 1,205 registered voters and 546 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters from July 20-24. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points for adults and registered voters and 5.5 percent for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at chueyburns@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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