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Gallup: Voters Split On Obama Re-election

By Kyle Trygstad

A new Gallup survey finds voters mostly split over whether President Obama deserves re-election in 2012, just as they have been for the last several months.

The poll, conducted of registered voters from June 11-13, found that 46 percent think he deserves re-election. That includes 79 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans. Of the 51 percent who do not think he deserves to be re-elected, 18 percent were Democrats, 53 percent independents and 91 percent Republicans.

The results were nearly identical in March, when 46 percent said he deserves re-election and 50 percent said he does not.

"Currently, Americans' views on whether Obama deserves re-election show it would be a close race if the election were held today," wrote Gallup's Frank Newport. "Still, a great deal can change in what is a political lifetime between now and November 2012, meaning that while of current interest, estimates of Obama's re-election chances at this point have little predictive validity."

Proof of that -- in an extreme form -- is in May 2002, when George W. Bush's approval rating was at 77 percent thanks to what Gallup calls the "rallying effect" after 9/11. At that time, 69 percent said George W. Bush deserved re-election. By October 2004, that number was down to 50 percent. He went on to win with 51 percent of the popular vote.

No Appetite For A Bush In 2012?

Public Policy Polling includes Jeb Bush on their latest list of hypothetical 2012 matchups. The result: the former Florida governor and brother of the former president draws the least support. President Obama leads all four matchups from the Democratic pollster, but does best against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

General Election Matchups:
Obama 53 - Palin 38
Obama 50 - J. Bush 37
Obama 48 - Huckabee 41
Obama 48 - Romney 39

Favorability Ratings:
Palin 37 / 55
Huckabee 38 / 36
J. Bush 22 / 45
Romney 33 / 38

Obama's job approval rating in the survey was 52 percent, with 44 percent disapproving. Voters are basically split on the Democrats' health care plan, with 45 percent supporting it and 46 percent opposed.

The automated telephone survey of 821 voters nationwide was conducted September 18-21 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.

At Half-Year Mark, Obama Leads Most 2012 Matchups

Both Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling have put out surveys today testing President Obama's re-election numbers against potential Republican candidates.

Rasmussen (1,000 LVs, July 16-17, MoE +/- 3 percent) gives us three matchups: Obama vs. Mitt Romney and Obama vs. Sarah Palin, and a third, with Palin as an independent: Obama vs. Romney vs. Palin.

2012 General Election Matchups
Obama 45
Romney 45
Not Sure 3

Obama 48
Palin 42
Not Sure 3

Obama 44
Romney 33
Palin 16
Not Sure 4

Only 21 percent of voters said they think Palin should pursue an independent bid if she lost the Republican nomination, while 63 percent said no.

PPP (577 voters, July 15-16, MoE +/- 4.1 percent) tested Obama against Romney, Palin, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.

2012 General Election Matchups
Obama 50 (-2 from April)
Gingrich 42 (+3)
Not Sure 9

Obama 48 (+1)
Huckabee 42 (unch)
Not Sure 10

Obama 51 (-2)
Palin 43 (+2)
Not Sure 6

Obama 49 (-1)
Romney 40 (+1)
Not Sure 11

PPP puts Obama's approval rating at 50 percent, its lowest number yet; 43 percent now disapprove.

MN Poll: Obama Tops Pawlenty In Gov's Home State

No, apparently it's not too early for state-specific polls of the 2012 presidential race.

Yesterday, we noted that a University of Texas survey put President Obama narrowly ahead of Mitt Romney in Texas. Today, a Public Policy Polling survey of Minnesota shows Obama leading incumbent Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), as well as outgoing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in hypothetical matchups there.

2012 General Election Matchup
Obama 51
Pawlenty 40
Undecided 8

Obama 56
Palin 35
Undecided 9

Obama also has a stronger job approval rating than Pawlenty in the North Star State. But it has slipped since an April survey showed him with a 60 percent approval rating.

Job Approval Rating
Obama 54 / 39
Pawlenty 44 / 48
Klobuchar 56 / 30

Pawlenty's approval split was 46 / 40 in April, representing a drop since he announced he would not seek a third term. Only 39 percent of Minnesotans have a favorable opinion of Palin, compared to 53 percent unfavorable.

The automated telephone survey of 1,491 Minnesota voters was conducted July 7-8, and had a margin of error of +/-2.5%.

Romney Sails On As Others Sink

If anyone other than President Obama has benefited from the recent implosion of GOP 2012 hopefuls, the big winner has to be Mitt Romney.

This week, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford confessed an extramarital affair and resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association. His humiliation came a week after Nevada Sen. John Ensign admitted his own affair and resigned from the Senate leadership.

Other prospects have departed or seen their hopes downgraded under innocent circumstances. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels voluntarily took himself out of the running last month, and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman accepted a job in the Obama administration. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's prospects cooled months ago after his widely panned nationally televised response to the president's address to Congress.

Sarah Palin has had a rough ride in the media since returning to Alaska as governor. She continues to be a controversial prospect given her uneven performance as John McCain's No. 2 and doubts about whether she has the policy chops.

Above the fray remains Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and unsuccessful 2008 candidate. A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday found that 40% of American adults hold a favorable opinion of him, including 57% of Republicans. The numbers represent a significant increase from late 2007, when Romney looked to many like the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. His biggest increase is among independents -- 44% now view him favorably, up from 29% in February 2008.

This year Mr. Romney has appeared on talk shows, launched the first leg of a nationwide GOP "listening tour" and given a highly publicized speech on military policy. But despite his profile-raising campaign and steady string of public appearances, a third of voters still don't know enough to hold an opinion of him. Three years away from the next election, perhaps that's a good thing.

Daniels Ends 2012 Speculation

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels indicated today that his current job would be his last, a statement likely to deflate the hopes of many conservatives around the country that he'd run for president in 2012.

"I've only ever run for or held one office," Daniels said. "It's the last one I'm going to hold."

Daniels was speaking on the current state of conservatism during a panel discussion hosted by the Hudson Institute at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Washington -- just two blocks from the White House. The second-term governor had been mentioned by the likes of Bill Kristol and Michael Barone as a potential challenger to President Obama in 2012, especially after his commanding performance in the 2008 election.

The Republican governor left his post as director of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush to run in 2004. He defeated acting Gov. Joe Kernan (D) by 8 points that year, and four years later he won re-election by tallying more votes than any candidate in state history -- and almost 200,000 more than Obama, the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 44 years.

Obama Approval Up After 100 Day Mark

President Obama joked during his speech at the White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington that Saturday was the 10-day anniversary of his first 100 days.

Speaking of the first 10 days of the rest of his presidency, Gallup reports today that Obama's approval rating average since the 100-day mark is 66%, 3 points higher than the average rating of his first 100 days.

Perhaps of more importance to Obama's re-election -- which is still three and a half years away -- is that 25% said they would definitely vote for him in 2012, while 28% said they would probably vote for him. That 53% total includes 90% of Democrats, 46% of independents and 16% of Republicans.

On the other side, 25% said they would definitely not vote for Obama, and 12% said they probably would not.

A similar question was asked in June 1994 and January 1995, and both surveys found just 11% saying they would definitely vote for Bill Clinton in 1996. Clinton would go on to defeat Bob Dole by more than 8 points in the popular vote and 220 electoral votes.

2012 Today!

Public Policy Polling released a very early look at the 2012 landscape, testing President Obama against some prominent Republicans who may or may not challenge him in four years.

The PPP survey (April 17-19, 686 voters, MoE +/- 3.7%) puts Obama's approval rating just above 50 percent, notably lower than most other surveys right now. There was a 58-point partisan spread.

Obama Job Approval Rating
All / Liberal / Moderate / Conservative
Approve 53 / 84 / 68 / 26
Disapprove 41 / 12 / 26 / 67
Not Sure 6 / 4 / 5 / 7

PPP tested the favorability of Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. Only Huckabee and Romney had net favorable numbers, but none of the four cracked the mid-40s. Palin evoked the strongest negative response.

Favorability Rating
Gingrich 36 / 44
Huckabee 42 / 34
Palin 42 / 49
Romney 40 / 35

After the jump, check out matchups between Obama and the four Republicans.

Continue reading "2012 Today!" »