- (Photo: Reuters / Brendan McDermid)
Findings from a new poll suggest Obama’s re-election campaign is on the rocks. A McClatchy-Marist poll shows support for the president is steadily declining and even Sarah Palin is gaining ground on Obama in the 2012 race.
Despite the fact that Palin has yet to formally announce her bid for presidency, she trails Obama by only 5 percentage points, 44 to his 49. This is a significant gain as earlier this year she trailed in support by more than 20 points. The key difference is that Palin now seems to be leading Obama among independent voters, a swing-voting bloc, according to the national survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
The poll shows the president’s approval rating at 39 percent among registered voters nationally, an all-time low for Obama. For the first time a majority (52 percent) of voters disapprove of the job he is doing in office, and 9 percent are unsure. Among independent voters, 53 percent said they definitely plan to vote against Obama.
Earlier last week, James Carville gave a word of advice to Obama’s campaign after two upset elections in New York turned out to be a victory for the GOP. In his one-word comment, Carville advised the president to “panic.”
The poll seems to echo that advice, as now the majority of voters think Obama won’t win re-election. Among registered voters, 52 percent think he’ll lose to the Republican contender, no matter who ends up winning the nomination. Even among Democrats, 31 percent think the Republican nominee will win.
The poll reveals what many GOP contenders have been saying recently: Obama has lost ground with middle-class America.
“[The results] speak to Obama’s decline among independents generally, and how the middle is not his right now,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, told the Miami Herald. Marist College was contacted for comment but did not reply before publication.
“This will require him to find ways to either win back the middle or energize his base in ways that [haven’t] happened so far.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the main contender in the poll. He is shown as the solid frontrunner, supported by 87 percent of Republicans. Obama still has a slight lead over Perry; 50 percent of voters support Obama while 41percent are for Perry. But many pundits think that will shift once the GOP nominee is finalized.
Following Perry’s lead, results show that among Republican voters, Romney has only 22 percent support and Bachmann lags behind with just 12 percent.
“[Obama’s] saving grace right now has to do with fact that the GOP field has not yet demonstrated the appeal to capitalize on his weaknesses,” said Miringoff, according to the Herald.
Obama is nearly tied with Romney, according to the poll. Forty-six percent of voters said they are behind Obama, and 44 percent said they are for Romney. When matched up against Perry, the disparity is larger as he leads by 50 percent to Perry’s 41 percent.
Rudy Giuliani, like Sarah Palin, was shown to be popular with the voters despite not having formally entered the race. The poll results showed that if either were to enter the race they would have at least as much support as Romney or Bachmann. Despite this, most Republicans have expressed that they do not want Giuliani or Palin to enter the race.
Palin, who entered the spotlight in 2008 as McCain’s running mate, has had a polarized relationship with the mainstream media. Due to her characterization of being a “far right crazy” she has had a tough time selling her ideas to the mainstream press. However, the poll reveals that her words resonate with a large percentage of middle-class Americans.
Even The New York Times is beginning to catch on, commenting that Palin is “saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin’s having said them.”
The survey was conducted by phone interviews on Sept. 13 and 14. A total of 1,042 adults were polled, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.