Some 2012 Polling
by Jonathan Singer, Thu May 21, 2009 at 01:37:19 PM EDT
Not that we aren't just a few months past the last presidential election, but Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (.pdf) is serving up some polling on the next presidential election, for those interested.
Barack Obama 53, Newt Gingrich 36
Barack Obama 52, Mike Huckabee 39
Barack Obama 56, Sarah Palin 37
Barack Obama 53, Mitt Romney 35
These numbers are interesting for a number of reasons. First, Barack Obama leads each of the four Republicans polled by at least 13 points, and as many as 19 points, despite the fact that the partisan make up of the survey's sample is more Republican-friendly than both the average of recent polls and the actual electorate in November 2008. PPP's sample included 40 percent Democrats, 34 percent Republicans and 26 percent Independents, a 6-point net advantage for the Democrats. The overall trend of polling, however, places the Democrats' advantage at closer to 9 points, and on election day last fall the Democrats had a 7-point advantage among voters. So PPP's numbers underestimate President Obama's edge at this very early point in the election cycle.
There is an extent to which these numbers might be chalked up, at least in part, to differences in name recognition within the polled matchups. Nearly a quarter of those polled by PPP indicated that they do not have opinions of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, so it could be that their level of support is understated by this survey. (Though it is worth noting that Sarah Palin has roughly the same level of name recognition as the President, and an unfavorable rating of 50 percent, so no excuses there.) However, Gingrich's unfavorable rating is significantly higher than Barack Obama's (47 percent versus 38 percent) despite the fact that he is less known than the President, and Romney's is close to that level (36 percent), indicating that unless virtually everyone who now doesn't know enough about Romney to rate him either way would have to come away liking him in order to match the President's popularity, not a terribly likely situation.
In all, a good early start for the President's reelection hopes.