Thursday, April 23, 2009

2012 President Survey

Is it too early to poll Barack Obama against potential opponents in 2012? Sure. But that doesn't mean people don't find it interesting, and it gives us something to track against moving forward so here goes:

On our newest national survey we looked at Obama against Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney.

Huckabee fares the best of the top Republican contenders at this point in time, trailing Obama 49-42. That margin is basically the same as what Obama won by against John McCain in November. Huckabee also has the best favorability numbers of the Republican quartet at 42/34. Even after running for President last year a quarter of the country doesn't have an opinion about him one way or the other.

Sarah Palin's numbers are an interesting conundrum. She easily has the best favorability among Republicans voters, with 76% saying they have a positive opinion of her. The other three range from 60-67 with the party base. But she also has the largest percentage of GOP voters- 21%- who say they would vote for Obama if she ended up being the party nominee. So for the folks in the party who don't like her that feeling is strong enough they'd rather vote for a Democrat. It adds up to a 12 point deficit for her, 53-41. Overall the electorate has a negative opinion of Palin, 42/49.

The low 60% favorability rating among GOP voters belongs to Mitt Romney, certainly an indication that securing the nomination is likely to once again be a struggle for him. He is viewed favorably by the largest numbers of Democrats for any of the Republican candidates in the survey, at 27%. He trails Obama 50-39.

The weakest of the potential Republicans at this very early stage is Newt Gingrich, who despite being out of the national spotlight for ten years still appears to have a lot of people who don't think much of him. 36% of voters in the country have a favorable opinion of him with 44% saying it's unfavorable. It's interesting that more voters have a take one way or the other on Gingrich than on Huckabee and Romney who ran for President just last year. Gingrich earned his fame as a partisan warrior and perhaps as a result of that he gets the lowest level of crossover popularity from Democrats, as only 15% of them say they view him positively.

Obama's approval is at 53% with 41% disapproving. Those might not be as good as some of his numbers earlier in the year but he's certainly in solid shape politically overall.

Full results here.


Chris said...

Could you poll South Carolina? I'd love to see the opinions of Mark Sanford vs. Obama vs. stimilus or no stimulus.

andgarden said...

Hey Tom, do you have the regional crosstabs for this survey? Thanks.

Rasmus said...


do you have any idea why African-Americans seem to be more inclined to vote for the GOP when the election is still a lot of time a way but always end up in the Democratic column? I mean, it's like that every time, at least in your polls (and you're the only pollster from whom I know crosstabs for 2010 or 2012 from states with a sizable AA minority)- the GOP gets support from 15-20% African-Americans in the early polls, with maybe additional 10% undecided, but the Democrats still get 90-95% in the elections.

I mean, we already know that Palin or Huckabee won't get 17% of the African-American vote come 2012. Even if Obama fails.

Tom Jensen said...

I certainly agree with you but I don't know why. Same thing happened in a lot of polling last year further out from the election.

Joseph said...

"Rasmus said...

I mean, we already know that Palin or Huckabee won't get 17% of the African-American vote come 2012. Even if Obama fails."
I am curious as to your reasons for this statement? In 1998, Huckabee received 48% of the African-American vote in Arkansas Governor's race. He also received key endorsements this past GOP primary from African-Americans. Everything I read says he does extremely well with African-Americans. Unlike most GOP candidates, he also shows up to debates hosted by African-American associations. I don't think 17% is too much of a stretch nationally.

Anonymous said...

This seems a bad sample.

In both 2004 and 2008, national exit polling as well as non-election polling released by Pew show a national electorate of 21% liberal, 34% conservative, and 45% moderate, whereas this sample is 15% liberal, 41% conservative, 44% conservative.

That right there is probably what makes Obama's rating somewhat worse in this poll than other national polling. Indeed, if you refigure the numbers in line with the exit polling data, you get 57% approval, 36% disapproval - which is basically the same as the PPP March poll.

Anonymous said...

Huckabee? Please, not a continuation of the great Evangelical hope. We need someone with brains, knows the economy, with proven leadership.
Mitt Romney 2012.

mspatriot said...

Huckabee. I was all ready to vote for him last time. Thought he had great ideas. Loved his common sense (that seems to be fading fast in today' world) and his down to earth, honest attitude.
Palin - She had my vote this time. Considering a move to Alaska. I love that she is not afraid to stand her ground. She's got more grit about her than most in our country's capital. I would love to see a Palin/Huckabee ticket in 2012.

Rasmus said...

Joseph, that's exit poll data...
Exit Polls are not necessarily the most reliable things out there..., Democratic national candidates could always count on the black vote since LBJ- with 90+%-- there is no reason to believe Obama will underperform that against someone who trails him by 7-12 points with all voters.

Unknown said...

That "Tax-Hike Mike" would be leading the polls amongst GOP voters should be proof enough that the GOP weren't the driving force behind the Tea Parties. I say "should be" though, because I happen to know for a fact that most Republicans are clueless enough to protest Obama's stimulus bill and still turn around and vote for the tax-raising Huckster.

Please, GOP, get a clue!

Patrick said...

You're hopelessly off base T. I would suggest you do a little more research. Governor Huckabee should be the leading Presidential candidate, in large part because he understands how policy decisions made at the federal level have unitended consequences at the local level. The Governor was forced into tax hikes as a result of unfunded federal mandates and Supreme Court decisions which required the State of Arkansas to invest heavily in education--not as a result of tax-and-spend philosophy on the part of the Governor. This is an indefensible position put forward by the likes of Fred Thompson to divert attention away from the failures of Republicans in Washington to balance the budget and rein in spending.

A couple of important points to note here T and you can contact me if you would like me to support these claims. First, Huckabee was an fiscal conservative who was honored by several organizations as a friend to the taxpayer prior to the aforementioned rulings. Second, he increased user fees whenever possible rather than implement across-the-board tax increases. And finally,as the Governor has said repeatedly, the size and scope of the federal government should be dramatically reduced. Why? Because he understands that the fiscal recklessness of the federal government has had a negative impact on state and local governments across the country. Huckabee in 2012!

Patrick S. Ziegler
Team Huck Organizer, Northern New York

Web Statistics