Obama Holds Big 2012 Lead Over Republicans


obama-eatingPresident Barack Obama retains a big lead over possible Republican rivals in the 2012 election despite anxiety about the economy and the country’s future, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday.

Obama’s approval rating inched up 1 percentage point from May to 50 percent but the number of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track also rose as pricier gasoline, persistently high unemployment and a weak housing market chipped away at public confidence.

Obama leads all potential Republican challengers by double-digit margins, the poll showed. He is ahead of his closest Republican rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, by 13 percentage points — 51 percent to 38 percent.

“Obama’s position has gotten a little stronger over the last couple of months as the public mood has evened out, and as an incumbent he has some big advantages over his rivals,” Ipsos pollster Cliff Young said.

“Until Republicans go through a primary season and select a nominee, they are going to be at a disadvantage in the head-to-head matchups in name recognition.”

Obama, who got a boost in the polls last month with the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, is amassing an election campaign warchest likely to be larger than the record $750 million he raised in 2008.

Sarah Palin and Romney lead the Republicans battling for the right to challenge Obama in the November 2012 election.

Palin, the party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008, had the support of 22 percent of the Republicans surveyed. The former governor of Alaska has not said whether she will run for president next year.

Romney, who failed in a 2008 presidential bid, had 20 percent support.

Representative Ron Paul, a libertarian Republican from Texas, and former pizza executive Herman Cain were tied for third with 7 percent each.

The Republican candidates are just starting to engage in their slow-starting nomination race. Young said Palin and Romney had a clear advantage at this stage over other challengers in name recognition among voters.

Other surveys have shown Romney in a stronger position. A Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this week gave Romney a slight lead over Obama among registered voters.

In the Reuters/Ipsos poll, the other Republican contenders fared even worse than Romney’s 13-point gap in a match-up with Obama. Palin trailed Obama by 23 points and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was behind by 19 points.

The survey was taken after weak jobs and housing figures released last week showed the U.S. economy is recovering slower than expected. Unemployment rose slightly to 9.1 percent for the month.

The poll found 60 percent of respondents said the country is on the wrong track, up from 56 percent in May but still below April’s high of 69 percent. In the latest survey, 35 percent said the country is going in the right direction.

Obama’s approval rating has drifted in a narrow range between 49 percent and 51 percent since January, with the exception of April when the first spike in gasoline prices drove his rating lower.

With Congress battling over a Republican budget plan that includes scaling back the federal Medicare health program for the elderly, the poll found a plurality of Americans, 43 percent, oppose the Medicare cuts and 37 percent support them.

The poll, conducted Friday through Monday, surveyed 1,132 adults nationwide by telephone, including 948 registered voters. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.

{Yahoo News/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Although this article lacks sophistication in its presenting of the polls, it is highly advanced in one area. THE PICTURE – I couldn’t have chosen a better picture than this to suit this article. To show the president, who is obviously doing quite welll financially even though most americans aren’t, struggling to get his entire mouth around an enormous hunk of whatever, this is so perfectly chosen for the article title – President holds on to BIG LEAD in the 2012 primaries….love it – great job! Perhaps if more Americans would embrace the carefree spirit the president shows here at chow time then all of the problems would just go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is consistent with almost all the other polls. PublicPolicyPolling has been surveying the “swing states” and almost none of them are leaning Republican right now. That Republican pundits have stopped talking about the Presidential election and mostly talk about the Congressional races shows that they realize that Obama is a shoe-in for re-election. The Lichtman keys, which have worked in every election since 1860, show Obama up +3 and it is not clear how the Republicans can turn this around.

  3. Charlie: we all know you are a liberal dem…but please remember that PPP is a democratic polling organization… And yet, ABC and Washington Post show Romney ahead.

  4. “PPP is a democratic polling organization”

    That is true, but their polls were closer to the final results than many nonpartisan polling organizations. They also have Obama with smaller national leads than most other polling organizations.

    “ABC and Washington Post show Romney ahead.”

    Not exactly — they called it essentially a dead heat, within the margin of sampling error.

  5. THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION IS A JOKE. IT HAS BEEN SHOWN there is a 13 KEY SYSTEM that has shown the winner of the popular vote for the last 150 years WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.
    Allan Lichtman from Brooklyn, NY.

    On March 10, 2010 Allan Lichtmann has once again publicly predicted the party that will win the next election popular vote. He has done so correctly at least a year before the event for every presidential election since and including 1984 – the last 7 elections.
    On March 2010 Allan Lichtman predicted that Obama would wins re-election in 2012.
    This is from his recent article…
    “Although the next presidential election is some 32 months away, this is an appropriate time to issue my earliest prediction yet; enactment of the landmark health care reform bill nearly guarantees President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.
    I developed the Keys to the White House in 1981, in collaboration with Volodia Keilis-Borok, a world-renowned authority on the mathematics of prediction models. Retrospectively, the keys accurately account for the results of every presidential election from 1860 through 1980. Prospectively, the keys predicted well ahead of time the popular-vote winners of all seven presidential elections from 1984 through 2008.
    History shows that the choice of a president does not turn on debates, advertising, speeches, endorsements, rallies, platforms, promises or campaign tactics. Rather, presidential elections are primarily referenda on the performance of the party holding the White House.
    The Keys to the White House consist of 13 true-false questions that gauge the performance and strength of the incumbent presidential party. Each key is phrased so that an answer of true always favors re-election of the incumbent party (see table, below). When five or fewer keys are false or turned against the party holding the White House, that party wins another term in office. When six or more are false, the challenging party wins.
    With the health care bill now on the books, the party in power now has only four keys likely turned against it for 2012, two short of the fatal six negative keys. Thus, President Obama could endure an additional setback and still win re-election.
    The following nine keys currently favor the incumbent Democratic Party.
    1-The lack of any likely nomination challenge to President Obama secures Incumbent Party Contest Key 2.
    2-Obama’s virtually certain nomination locks up Incumbency Key 3.
    3-The absence of any likely third-party challenger with chances of winning at least 5 percent of the vote gives the Democrats the Third-party Key 4.
    4-The economy will probably be in the recovery stage in 2012, gaining Short-term Economy Key .
    5-The enactment of the health care bill, perhaps the most significant social legislation since the mid-1960s, secures Policy Change Key 7.
    6-Even with the tea party protests, the absence of sustained, violent upheavals like those of the 1960s avoids loss of the Social Unrest Key.
    7–It is unlikely that Obama will suffer a scandal comparable to Teapot Dome in the 1920s or Watergate in the 1970s, averting the loss of Scandal Key 9.
    8- Despite the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president is not likely to suffer a major foreign policy or military failure, comparable to Pearl Harbor or losing the Vietnam War, keeping Foreign/military Failure Key in line.
    9 -No Republican challenger matches the charisma of Theodore Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan, keeping Democrats from losing the Challenger Charisma/Hero Key.

    The following 4 keys now count against the incumbent party ( the democratic party):
    10-The party’s prospective losses in the 2010 midterm elections probably will cost it Mandate Key.
    11-The weak economy during Obama’s first year in office portends the loss of Long-term Economy Key.
    12-Despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama has not gained the major triumph abroad needed to secure the Foreign/military Success Key.
    13-Obama has not regained the magic of his campaign, and now falls short of gaining the Incumbent Charisma/hero Key.

    The early verdict is that the president will secure re-election in 2012.

    The Keys are stated to favor the re-election of the incumbent party. When five or fewer are false, the incumbent party wins. When six or more are false, the other party wins.
    KEY 1 (Party Mandate): After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections. (FALSE)
    KEY 2 (Contest): There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. (TRUE)
    KEY 3 (Incumbency): The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. (TRUE)
    KEY 4 (Third party): There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (TRUE)
    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (TRUE)
    KEY 6 (Long-term economy): Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth
    during the previous two terms. (FALSE)
    KEY 7 (Policy change): The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (TRUE)
    KEY 8 (Social unrest): There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (TRUE)
    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (TRUE)
    KEY 10 (Foreign/military failure): The administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (TRUE)
    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)
    KEY 12 (Incumbent charisma): The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (FALSE)
    KEY 13 (Challenger charisma): The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. (TRUE)
    True: 9 Keys; false: 4 Keys. Prediction: Incumbent Obama wins in 2012

    Allan Lichtman is a professor of history at American University and a national political analyst. His e-mail address is lichtman@american.edu.