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Obama in Good Shape for 2012 Despite Current Woes, Poll Finds

4 years ago
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His party got hammered in the midterm election, he's taking heat from fellow Democrats for compromising with Republicans on taxes, and his job approval levels are hovering around 45 percent, but a new survey concludes President Obama's prospects for re-election in 2012 are fairly strong. Conversely, Sarah Palin's numbers continue to be weak.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out Thursday finds while only 42 percent of respondents say they'd probably vote for the president if he runs again, just 39 percent say they'd vote for a Republican. Ten percent say it depends who the GOP opponent is.

But when you put a Republican name into the equation, the numbers change -- in favor of Obama. The president leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 47 to 40 percent. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota trails by 20 points, 47 to 27 percent.

In fairness to the Republicans, voters are a long way from Election Day 2012, and GOP unannounced potential challengers such as Thune are handicapped in mock head-to-head match-ups because their names are much less known than the president's. But name identification is hardly Sarah Palin's problem -- and the president leads the former Alaska governor, 55 to 33 percent.

NBC's polling analysts say that this 22 percent spread is "an indication that the former Republican vice presidential nominee remains a polarizing figure who actually wins support for Mr. Obama." The survey finds that nearly three-quarters of Americans personally like the president, even if they don't agree with his stands on the issues.

Democratic pollster Peter Hart tells NBC the White House can see this poll as a pretty good review at the halfway point of his first term.

"From my point of view, this poll is anything but a lump of coal in the president's Christmas stocking," said Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "But there is a lot of work to be done."

McInturff concludes Obama "retains very strong numbers with a political core constituency."

Read the full WSJ/NBC poll here (.pdf).

Another poll out Thursday gauged Obama's re-election chances in eight swing states, most of which he won in 2008: Montana, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio. The Public Policy Polling survey found the president's chances remain good in each state, with Romney the potential candidate who could put up the best fight for Republicans.

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Interesting. Two years before Obama was elected President, a majority of Americans didn't even know his name. About a year before his election, a vast majority said it would be impossible for him to win. But look what happened? A LOT can happen in two years folks. Or the next two years I should say. This is why I think he'll win again. As an independent, and as much as I dispised George W. Bush, Presidents have very little to do with the ebb and flow of a national economy as large as ours. It's just used as a political push when needed. This is why Obama (politically speaking) chose to deal with Health Care (something that he knew would be a tough pill for a lot to swallow) first and the economy later. (Which will naturally improve on it's own by 2012.) The economy was in such shambles when George W. Bush left that it almost had no place to go but "up". We hit rock bottom right about the time Obama was elected. "The worst it's been since the great depression." Currently, whether Republicans like it or not, the economy is steadily getting better, a fact that has very little to do with Obama, democrats or rebublicans. In the two more years, the Dow will be back up above 14,000, corporate profits will be up, unemployment will be "better", probably roughly 7.5%, the housing market will have also finally "settled". The "credit freeze" will be over and Americans will, once again, stupidly use "credit" to fuel corporate profits but at least more jobs will be created becuase of it. We might even see a "new bubble" to give us a false sense of economic security again, who knows? In any event, economically the majority of Americans will "feel" more secure and that's the point. The Obama administration will take major credit for this naturally occuring economic improvment and play on that emotional security. The Democrats will then have a campaign that goes something like this..."Do you want everything to be back like it was when George W. Bush left? Or majorily improved like it is now in 2012??" Because Obama is also likeable, fueled with the fact that more people will be more scared of another economic hardship than anything his policies create....Obama will be reelected. It's not rocket science. It was the tripple storm of the housing bubble followed by wallstreet greed, topped with extensions of too much credit offered to those in too much debt, that caused the economic collapse. George W. Bush had nothing to do with it, and Obama will have very little if nothing to do with it's recovery. But he will be reelected because he's a "smart polotician" and timing is on his side.

January 24 2011 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tea for Me; you keep on drinking your Tea. The country is becomming too diverse for people who are still hiding their faces behind upside down Snowcones to be successful in this diverse country. Remenber that George Bush left with a 29 percent approval rating. Obama is doing the best that he can cleaning up the last GOP DISASTER; IF George Bush got re-elected; Obama has an equally good chance.. With the False Weapons of Mass destruction war and the tax cuts for eveyone; Bush nearly drove the country into Bankruptcy.

January 18 2011 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Every President should serve two terms and THEN be judged!

December 22 2010 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I as an American am embarassed every time you speak, In my life I have never seen any one work harder than you,, to give away every thing that has been fought for for so long. You could do no more in the short period we have known about you to destroy our America.

December 22 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Urban Beat Nucca

Name one viable GOP candidate in 2012 other than Sarah Palin and I'm 99% sure you will illicit a GUFFAW reaction from the majority of Americans at their chances of winning.

December 21 2010 at 4:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

We voted for him in 08, he will win re election in 2012. We deserve this president! He needs the 4 more years to help America.

December 19 2010 at 5:45 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

Don't see why he shouldn't be in good shape. Not trying to be bias, have not seen anything so terrible. Health care: think everyone in this country should be able to go to the doctor. Tax cuts millionaires should pay more taxes, thet make more money. Don't ask Don't tell commom sense issue eeveryone should be allowed to serve their country. Have asked mant people to tell me how has The Presidents policies affected their lives. Most can't give not one single thing. Too much political hype.

December 18 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

Of course he is in good shape, even given all the non-productive obstructionist game playing of the right. Today another civil right-an equal right was voted up awaiting signature.. whether you or I agree is not at issue, in this land, these still UNITED States it is either full equality for ALL or equality for none. Congrats to our elected employees for doing what merely their job and right. Obama, no matter what his approval rattings at this juncture, it about JOBS stupid, (only an echo of a long distant time ago when another president heard the hue and cry). WE must now wait to learn what our economy does, can the dollar ever regain it's standing and will the employment numbers dramatically increase?

December 18 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

President Barack Obama, is a good persident! He is the right man for the job! He is moving this Country in a forward direction for all people.

December 18 2010 at 6:25 PM Report abuse -10 rate up rate down Reply

For some, and there are many in the media, this "constant electioneering" has to stop. It distracts from addressing and holding serious discussion on issues. Now, it may be a nice "cheap" way for pollsters to fill their coffers and the media to cheaply "fill space" but it really contributes to nothing but THEIR bottom line. Most polls, and everybody has one, are totally unscientific and thereby total garbage. Even a doctor doesn't take the patients blood pressure every 15 seconds.

December 18 2010 at 10:57 AM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply

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