A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Barack Obama is running neck and neck against both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney:
For the third month in a row our look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race makes it clear that a race between Barack Obama and either Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney would be a tossup at this point in time.
Obama and Romney tie at 44% each. Romney wins independents 45-38 and gets 80% of the Republican vote to Obama’s 76% of the Democratic vote.
Obama leads Huckabee just 46-44. He wins independents by a 43-42 margin and would also benefit from a more united party than Obama, getting 82% of Republicans to Obama’s 76% of Democrats.
These numbers really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The polling out there on Obama’s approval ratings now shows the country pretty much split between approval and disapproval, and it’s a reasonable leap for it to be pretty evenly divided on whether the country would be better off with Obama or a Republican as President.
If Sarah Palin were the nominee, on the other hand, Obama would be in a much better situation:
The Republicans nominating Sarah Palin in 2012 continues to be the Democratic dream scenario. Obama leads her 49-41. Where Romney leads by seven with independents and Huckabee leads by one, Palin has a 14 point disadvantage. Palin does continue to be the best liked of the GOP candidates within the party, as 69% of its voters have a favorable opinion of her compared to 57% for Romney and 55% for Huckabee
Obviously, its still far too early for these numbers to be anything other than a reflection of Obama’s declining approval numbers, but we’re getting close to the point where it will mean more than that.