With about a dozen candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination, they should all rejoice in a new Gallup poll that shows President Obama coming in eight points shy of a “fill in the blank” Republican candidate.
The poll of 897 registered voters interviewed July 7-10 shows that 39 percent say they would vote for President Obama in 2012, while 47 percent said they would vote for “the Republican Party’s candidate for president.” The poll has a margin of error of four percent.
Obama support is unchanged from last month but is down from 43 percent in May when the president’s approval rating saw an upswing after the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
At that time, a generic Republican candidate had 40 percent support in May. Beginning in June, the GOP candidate has drawn more support than Obama, with 44 percent saying they’re more likely to vote for the Republican. The latest increase to 47 percent is the second consecutive month that shows a Republican candidate outpolling Obama.
Jeffery Jones of Gallup noted in his report that independent voters should be causing President Obama the most concern since independents favor a Republican candidate over a Democrat 44 to 34 percent. Republicans are showing slightly more loyalty to their party’s candidates than are Democrats.
“President Obama’s re-election prospects do not look very favorable at this point – if the election were held today, as measured by the generic presidential ballot,” wrote Jones. “However, that result does not necessarily mean he is likely to be denied a second term in November 2012. At this point in 1991, George H.W. Bush looked like a sure bet to win a second term, but he was defeated.”
University of Virginia political analyst Kyle Kondik added a different twist to the poll’s results.
“When you poll voters and insert another candidates name in the blank, Obama is still out performing everyone other than Romney,” said Kondik. “We’re still a long way out from November 2012 and voters will change their minds many times between now and then.”
Interestingly, a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in mid-June suggested the underlying reason for Obama’s vulnerability is due to voters seeing Obama as “owning” the economy and its 9 plus percent unemployment rate.
Over 82 percent of voters surveyed in that poll now consider Obama responsible for the nation’s economy.
Noted Kondik, “As far as the economy goes, it’s more perception than reality at this point.”
Meanwhile, President Obama is threatening to veto the House Republican plan to balancing the budget and raising the debt ceiling, saying it “would undercut the United States’ ability to invest in the future and lead to severe cuts across great swaths of government spending.”