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US: 2012 Pres (PPP 6/4-7)


Public Policy Polling (D)
6/4-7/10; 650 adults, 3.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(PPP release)

National

2012 President
46% Obama, 44% Huckabee
50% Obama, 41% Palin
47% Obama, 39% Gingrich
46% Obama, 36% Paul
45% Obama, 42% Romney

Obama Job Approval
48% Approve, 47% Disapprove (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Mike Huckabee: 27 / 31 (chart)
Sarah Palin: 34 / 53 (chart)
Newt Gingrich: 28 / 46
Ron Paul: 22 / 36
Mitt Romney: 31 / 36 (chart)

 

Comments
twitter.com/strobe3:

Let me get this straight, Sarah Palin has a net negative of 19 fav/unfa and Mitt has a net negative of -5 but Sarah is beating Obama..BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH:):):) And why are Ron Paul's negatives so high...out of all these, he is probably the most reasonable Republican.

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Farleftandproud:

This is insanity. Perhaps Obama could compete with Huckabee, but like I said if Palin became president, I'd be moving to Canada or Australia so I would be as far away from a nuclear war is possible.

Just the fact it would be this close, is pretty scary. It shows you how brainless many Americans are. They can all go to hell in my opinion.

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jmartin4s:

Obama should be at 50 against Palin not 40 thats a typo.

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scottkj:

I love it. This will drive the libs crazy. Obama losing to Palin.....I LOVE IT!!

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twitter.com/strobe3:

@far left...I would take this poll with a HUGE grain of salt, the only competition (if you call it that) is Romney. But the teabaggers and the foreign policy and the econ-minded conservatives are all in different camps, and Romney ain't gonna bring them together. Bank on that.

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gabe:

Farleftandproud I doubt you would be missed. As to this poll and its findings I find them very hard to believe but it is possible they are due to the likely voter screen. It is obvious that conservatives are excitd to vote, espcially social conservatives and it could be these voters that putting out big for Palin. Also the prez is struggling no matter how you look at it and many libs and moderates right now may be mum on saying yes they will vote for him in 2012. Still, I doubt Palin will run so......

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gabe:

Farleftandproud I doubt you would be missed. As to this poll and its findings I find them very hard to believe but it is possible they are due to the likely voter screen. It is obvious that conservatives are excitd to vote, espcially social conservatives and it could be these voters that putting out big for Palin. Also the prez is struggling no matter how you look at it and many libs and moderates right now may be mum on saying yes they will vote for him in 2012. Still, I doubt Palin will run so......

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hoosier_gary:

Obama against Palin is supposed to be 50% Obama, 41% Palin.

Don't want you libbies to have a heart attack.

Ron Paul's negatives are so high because of his truther comments. Makes him sound like an idiot.

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Paleo:

Don't pee you pants, righties. It's a typo. Obama 50 Palin 41.

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ndirish11:

The best president out of all those is hands down Ron Paul, but he probably won't run yet alone win the nomination.

The GOP needs to be realistic for a second.

Huckabee? No way. He is too much of religious whacko to win.

Palin...ummm no? She too is too far in with the extreme christian right to get much independent support.

Newt Gingrich? Same as the others.

Ron Paul? Well he is an actual fiscal conservative unlike the rest of the phonies who preach small government but want to make it bigger. Yet his views on not wanting to ban gay marriage and voting to end DADT might upset some social conservatives. Also his foreign policy of non-interventionism is, while the original platform of the party and nation, is not accepted by today's neo-conservatives. A great candidate, but he won't win in the Republican party.

That leaves Romney. He is the logical choice for the party. He isn't "looking for God" to show him the right away and he isn't a homophobe. You have to at least socially moderate to get independent votes.

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hoosier_gary:

Another part of Paul's problem is that his most of his supporters were insane. They worshipped him like a cult leader. It was a lot like the swoon for Obama. It creeped normal people out.

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Paleo:

Romney will likely be the one. Republicans are big on next in line, and with Huckabee probably not running, Romney is next in line. Even though he's probably not conservative enough for that party. He's an attractive candidate in many ways, but the circumstances will dictate the result. Things will have to be 08-09 bad for him to beat Obama.

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Shassy:

@scottkj: Obama Vs Palin numbers is a typo. This is the real number. Click on the PPP release and go figure! Palin is empty-headed and will never be able to talk policy with any of the potential 2012 candidates.

This is the question by PPP:
If the candidates for President next time were
Sarah Palin and Barack Obama, who would
you vote for?
Sarah Palin ....... 41%
Barack Obama....... 50%
Not Sure........... 9%

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hoosier_gary:

Actually, I think right now that there is better than a 50/50 chance that Mitch Daniels (governor of Indiana) will be the republican nominee.

I'll miss him as governor, but so will the 63% that approve of his job performance here in Indiana. He took a runaway deficit left behind by the democrats and turned it into a surplus. Indiana is still one of the only states that has made it through this recession with a budget surplus - and we have higher unemployment than the national average.

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ndirish11:

The thing about Ron Paul is that he tells you everything. He never ignores a question. That's a trait that runs very constant in Libertarians, honesty. Thats because their party is still small and uncorrupted.

Ron Paul is as honest as they come.

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melvin:

In my opinion Obama is not going to be the Democratic nominee in 2012,because he have alienated the left to much.In order for Obama to get the nomination he have to come back to the left,but Obama has lied to the Hispanics,he has lied to the Gay people,he has lied to the liberal whites.I just cant see Obama winning out West in the primaries,or any big state.Its rumours Senator Feingold is going to challenge Obama in 2012,because he feels Obama have forgotten about his base,in i beleive Feingold can win.

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bigfoot9p6:

Romneys the only one of those who could possibly win in a general election (despite being about as authentic as Michael Jackson). However the southern christian right regards his religion as a cult. This is a problem for him. He very well may "change his position" on his religion in order to become a plausible nominee for the GOP.

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Coldfusion:

Melvin

where have you heard tht Feingold may challenge Obama? Perhaps his anti-Wall Street reform vote was a pre-cursor to challenging Obama from the left?

Obama is still way too popular among rank-and-file Democrats to be challenged in a primary. Heck , even his overall numbers of approval in the 47 to 52% range is hardly catastrophic, especially considering how anti-politican the current environment is. He's still higher than Clinton or Reagan were are this point in their presidencies. Furthermore, Look at those GOP numbers? Every single one of them is underwater!

With that said, a Feingold vs Paul contest would be fantastic, if nothing else it would be 2 guys who are true believers in their causes

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HookedOnPolls:

Interesting, melvin. Today I was doing some research and wound up on a Gay political website and the posts were fairly negative about Obama. More so than I would ever have guessed.

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melvin:

If Feingold run in 2012 i see a win for him in Calif,Nev,Col,Arz,Wis,Fl,Penn,Oh,Tex,Mich,in a few other big States,Obama is not going to win any State with a large latino pop.Feingold can win this.

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TeaPartyRules:

I've told you guys several times to get ready for President Palin. She is building a huge political army as we post.

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Field Marshal:

I still think you will see a Mitch Daniels/Romney ticket. Maybe even Paul Ryan but he is only 39 and can wait until 2016 or 2020.

How about Alvin Greene being nominated in SC with outstanding felonies. Democrats seem to gravitate toward unexperienced and criminal candidates.

From the article:
The third-ranking House Democrat said he found it strange that Greene, a relative unknown prior to Tuesday, was able to produce the money to register and run for Senate despite being unemployed.

Greene allegedly tried to pay the registation fee in cash, and Clyburn said he wondered whether an outside party might have funded both the fee and Greene's campaign, in violation of federal campaign finance laws.

Despite having no real campaign or prior political support in the state, Greene won the primary to face Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) this fall with nearly 59 percent of the vote — almost 100,000 votes.

The South Carolina Democratic Party called on Greene on Wednesday to drop out of the race after The Associated Press reported that the candidate is facing felony charges for having allegedly displayed pornographic images to a college student.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/102383-clyburn-says-sc-dem-senate-candidate-is-a-plant-calls-for-federal-probe

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iVote:

TPRules,

Do you not realize it's a typo?

And with the highest unfavorables out of anyone here, it's hard to believe that your fantasy will come true.

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Wong:

That ain't funny.

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Farleftandproud:

Field Marshall is being a realist. That ticket would be a Democrats worst nightmare, but rationality these days is going out the door with Fiorina, Angle And rand paul. If they were to be elected, I assure you that they would be scary and atrocious politicians, and would taint any reasonable Republican candidate in 2012.

The three I mentioned are inexperienced, inconsiderate and from another planet in my opinion. It is probably a gift there are so many wack jobs this year for the Democrats.

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Wong:

Emily, you are a wicked woman:)

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Field Marshal:

Palin isn't running and Feingold isn't challenging Obama. Take that to the bank.

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Jdcopyboy:

This is hilarious. It's a typo. Check the poll report from PPP's Web site:

"Barack Obama leads all of the top potential Republican Presidential candidates for 2012 in hypothetical contests."

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Louis:

The Republican who would frighten me most as opponent to Obama but who has no chance of being nominated is Lindsay Graham. A conservative with the ability to appear moderate. He is not as tarnished with the obstructionism that so turns off independent to republican candidates.
It is clear that the nut case Republican base that dominates the Republican primaries would never nominate him.
Rommney will run hard to the right to win the primaries. but whatever credibility he has left will disappear in the process.
But trying to make predictions about 2012 before the midyear elections in 2010 is a fools game/

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Lt. Cmdr. Walrus:

Looks about right considering the approval. Although it's interesting that none of the Rep candidates have positive favorables.

As far as Mitch Daniels, I don't think he will run in 2010 unless Obama is really, *really* unpopular. In fact if it were to get that low Obama probably wouldn't run himself.

In any case, Daniels would be an extremely strong candidate in 2016, wheras running against a skilled incumbent is always a risk.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Oh, I think Palin is running. If not, wtf is she doing raising all that money? Why is her PAC 2nd to Romney's? She has the charisma and the fire in the belly. She is running. I think she has the edge in a 3 way contest that includes Romney and someone else like Ginrich or Huckabee.

None of these also-rans would beat Obama.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Furthermore, look at the crosstabs for all the matchups. Obama has strong leads among women and hispanics against every candidate. At or near 60% support among hispanics in every matchup. Romney gets 0% among blacks, LOL! That puts 270 EVs nearly out of reach for any of those republicans.

Obama has 40% approval among whites, right where he should be. It shows him getting 38% only against Huckabee and Romney, but youth are significantly underrepresented. Only 10% of the sample, wtf? Youth have been at least 17% of the electorate since 1996. If they come out even in reduced numbers from 2008, that will push his white % above 40-41% and there's no way he loses.

I repeat, there is no path to 270 for any of these also-rans. Any republican who wants to win will have to pressure Obama's backcourt - that means winning a midwestern, northeastern, or mid-atlantic state. I thought Romney could do that but these crosstabs suggest he cannot. They'd better hope for someone new.

Also remember the charisma factor. Since TV became important, no candidate has won the presidency when he is less charismatic than his opponent. Sometimes this isn't a factor when both are uncharismatic (ie: Ford vs. Carter, Nixon vs. Humphrey, McGovern). That's why Huckabee comes the closest imo.

All of these republican candidates have an electoral ceiling of about 305 EVs and a base of about 130, while the democrats have a ceiling of around 410 with a base of about 200.

Republicans need to remember that they have not won more than 286 EVs since 1988, while Clinton and Obama both got in the upper 300s and even the loser Kerry got 252, while the republican losses were in the mid 200s. The republicans have a huge handicap when it comes to the electoral vote.

Watch this year's MA governor race. David Plouffe is Deval Patrick's strategist. If he wins easily, I find it unlikely that Obama can be beaten in 2012. If Patrick loses, then it's a ballgame.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Furthermore, look at the crosstabs for all the matchups. Obama has strong leads among women and hispanics against every candidate. At or near 60% support among hispanics in every matchup. Romney gets 0% among blacks, LOL! That puts 270 EVs nearly out of reach for any of those republicans.

Obama has 40% approval among whites, right where he should be. It shows him getting 38% only against Huckabee and Romney, but youth are significantly underrepresented. Only 10% of the sample, wtf? Youth have been at least 17% of the electorate since 1996. If they come out even in reduced numbers from 2008, that will push his white % above 40-41% and there's no way he loses.

I repeat, there is no path to 270 for any of these also-rans. Any republican who wants to win will have to pressure Obama's backcourt - that means winning a midwestern, northeastern, or mid-atlantic state. I thought Romney could do that but these crosstabs suggest he cannot. They'd better hope for someone new.

Also remember the charisma factor. Since TV became important, no candidate has won the presidency when he is less charismatic than his opponent. Sometimes this isn't a factor when both are uncharismatic (ie: Ford vs. Carter, Nixon vs. Humphrey, McGovern). That's why Huckabee comes the closest imo.

All of these republican candidates have an electoral ceiling of about 305 EVs and a base of about 130, while the democrats have a ceiling of around 410 with a base of about 200.

Republicans need to remember that they have not won more than 286 EVs since 1988, while Clinton and Obama both got in the upper 300s and even the loser Kerry got 252, while the republican losses were in the mid 100s. The republicans have a huge handicap when it comes to the electoral vote.

Watch this year's MA governor race. David Plouffe is Deval Patrick's strategist. If he wins easily, I find it unlikely that Obama can be beaten in 2012. If Patrick loses, then it's a ballgame.

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seg:

Aaron_in_TX:
Good post, I appreciate your analysis. However, I suggest more caution.

It is well over 2 years until the presidential election. If Obama continues his Carter impersonation, I doubt he will be competitive against Romney, Daniels, or, perhaps Palin. The American public despises weakness in a president.

Reagan did not beat Carter in a landslide, but it was very clear who would win after the first couple of debates, even though Carter had the advantages of the presidency. Frankly, Reagan came across as more "presidential." I saw that, yet I voted for Carter.

In my opinion, Obama looks weaker and weaker and less and less presidential all the time. He is far too eager to be in every conceivable TV event, which comes across to me as both immature and narcisstic. He blames others too much and let's himself get pushed into foolish behavior by liberal pundits. For example, this "ass-kicking" thing will not resonate well with actual adults. Likewise, Obama alternates between Chicago-style thuggishness and weakness towards our adversaries (the latter is hauntingly similar to Carter).

Although Palin badly hurt herself by resigning as governor, America does allow second acts (see Nixon, President). Furthermore, Palin should not be underestimated. Think long and hard about why liberal publications can't stop coming back to her. She rarely seems to grab for the limelight, but the camera loves her.

If the country continues on its present high unemployment and liberal onslaught, it is quite possible that the opposite extreme to liberalism will be in demand (conservatives are sweeping Europe). Note, also, that the liberal hatred and loathing of (and condescension towards) Palin is very similar to the way Reagan was treated prior to his nomination and until he over-matched Carter in a debate. If liberals criticize a prominent figure too much, many of the country decide perhaps they are worth a second look.

As I said in an earlier post, I saw a video of Palin (she and I were both in Denver) that made my jaw drop. For an hour of non-stop presentation, she was articulate, highly coherent, and showed a wonkish command of facts, theories, and examples. I was astounded. Given that the press lusts after her constantly, she will command coverage like no other candidate. They will hope she embarrasses herself, but they just might get a nasty surprise, just as they did with Reagan.

Remember, the press is actually not all that knowledgeable about much of anything outside of their immediate sphere, and the public certainly isn't, so politicians only have to have a superficial understanding of policies, issues, etc. Furthermore, the next time he will not be able to confuse people about whether he is a liberal, moderate, or open-minded. He is a liberal and he cannot play that game the next time.

We'll see.

Last point: I really like Mitch Daniels, he is articulate, thoughtful, and from all reports, an excellent governor. On the other hand, I understand that he is about 5'6". Like McCain, he would look like a midget standing next to Obama. In addition, the taller of the two candidates has won the great majority of elections, just as the contestant with the largest bust size won Miss America contests until it knuckled under to feminist outrage.

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Xenobion:

If we're talking charisma and debate skills the only Republicans on this list that would be able to compete would be Huckabee and Gingrich. Paul's too honest, and scary and Romney just looks like that guy where Obama would kill him with a comment like, "You're no Jack Kennedy." that would sum up the entire race.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"taller of the two candidates has won the great majority of elections"

I had no idea Daniels was that short! You're right, the taller man has always won. I think the exception was Bush vs. Kerry. Kerry was 6'3" or so, Bush was 5'10." The better looking & more charismatic man almost always wins. Obama has a big advantage there over these candidates.

"America does allow second acts "

Nixon came within .3% of winning the popular vote in 1960. Reagan came close to beating a sitting president in a primary. Americans give 2nd chances to runner-ups who came oh-so-close, not also rans like Romney who outspent his opponents immensely in IA and NH and still lost, or Palin who cost McCain more states than she gained.

Palin on Glenn Beck's show couldn't even name a founding father other than George Washington. She knows oil and gas issues. I have never, ever seen her answer questions in an intelligent way on anything else. She gets deer in the headlights with any interviewer not overly friendly. Even Glenn Beck got frustrated with her. I read her book, she thinks deeply about almost nothing. However, I don't doubt her political skill and charisma. I can definitely see a scenario where she wins. My concern with her is that she'd be very susceptible to influences like Bush was with Cheney & Rumsfeld most of his first term.

She is a train wreck and the media loves to show stuff like that.

"conservatives are sweeping Europe"

Guess you're talking about the British and Dutch elections. You don't really think that the UK's conservatives or the Netherland's VVD are equivalent to the U.S. Republicans do you?

The Dutch VVD believes in the general principle of universal health care, so do the UK conservatives. Dutch PVV would be more analagous to our republicans and they did make some gains due to anti-muslim sentiment, but so did D66 and GreenLeft, FAR to the left of anything we have in the U.S. We should keep it in perspective that the PVV got 15.5% of the vote, far outweighed by the various centre-left and leftist parties combined. The Netherlands have 10 significant political parties. The PVV is the only one that I know of in favor of dismantling or significantly reducing the welfare state. The VVD wants to reform it. Biggest losers in the Netherlands were the centrist Christian Democrats and the Socialists. Labour (social democrats) held steady for the most part.

UK's conservatives also believe in universal healthcare. Their bizarre coalition with the liberal democrats show how much they've changed.

Israel's Likud party is probably equivalent to our blue dog democrats. They are also not going to dismantle their single payer healthcare system, although Netanyahu is against the large labor unions to some extent and for free trade.

"weakness towards our adversaries"

Most polls show that foreign policy is Obama's best issue. People are tired of belligerence on the international stage.

"He is far too eager to be in every conceivable TV event,"

I don't see him on TV that much, but then I avoid the MSM. I did see a fluff interview by a sports reporter that aired before the NBA western conference finals. I like basketball, he likes basketball... see the point? In any case, Reagan was the one who really took TV appearances to the next level. JFK also annoyed his detractors because he and his wife seemed omnipresent in style magazines, etc...

I think the reasoning is that he wants to reach different audiences beyond the political junkies on cable news. I can see how this might annoy people that already don't like him. It really doesn't affect me one way or another. Someone like Farleft probably likes it.

You think Obama's narcissistic. I don't see it. But then I thought W. was a stubborn, arrogant jerk who didn't think through decisions, which you probably didn't think.

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Lt. Cmdr. Walrus:

@seg

"She rarely seems to grab for the limelight, but the camera loves her."

I disagree. She, like any other aspiring politician, is *always* grabbing for the limelight. If she's serious about running in 2012 she'll need to stay in the public spotlight as much as possible to keep her name in the mix. Notice all the public appearances and such she keeps making-that's certainly grabbing the limelight.

To be honest, she would've been better off never accepting the Vice Presidential nomination in the first place. 2008 was a terrible year for her platform to begin with, and right after McCain's pick was announced it became clear she was in well over her head. The impression left from those first few interviews is not going to go away.

Had she instead turned down the nomination she would've been able to build up her profile as a governor and prepare for a possible 2012/2016 campaign. Instead she jumped onto the national stage well before she was ready and that combined with her inexplicable resignation as governor ruined any chance she might have had.

@Aaron_In_TX

"I repeat, there is no path to 270 for any of these also-rans."

There might be a path for Romney out of that group, and *maybe* Huckabee, but they would both have trouble winning the nomination. If Gingrich decides to run I think the nomination is his to lose.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"He is a liberal and he cannot play that game the next time."

Most people understood he is left of center. Anyone who didn't was completely daft and ignored the entire democratic primary process that dominated the news for months.

As far as I can tell his actions place him basically the same as Bill Clinton, except he has succeeded where Clinton failed on gays in the military and health care (albeit with a less ambitious plan than Clinton's).

Otherwise what has he done? Doubled down Bush economic policies to deal with the recession. Doubled down Bush's Afghan policy, while more or less continuing the Bush plan for Iraq and continued his anti-terror apparatus except maybe for the torture part, which stopped after Bush's first term anyway. He even kept Bush's secretary of defense. Much of his administration was part of the old Clinton White House team.

I really don't see how Obama is more liberal than Clinton was/is based on his actions.

Much of the criticism is even stylistically similar to the opposition to Clinton.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"There might be a path for Romney out of that group, and *maybe* Huckabee, but they would both have trouble winning the nomination. "

Depends how much health care dominates the primaries. If it does, Romney is toast. His opponents can just replay "I like mandates" ad nauseum.

It might hurt Daniels too. The Healthy Indiana Plan is too acceptable & popular with too many democrats. Essentially it's subsidized insurance for poor people using medicaid funds, just with an $1100 deductible (which can be waived). The funding for it was unsustainable, and the toxicity of any sort of subsidized health care among the republican primary base has caused him to distance himself from it this year.

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Lt. Cmdr. Walrus:

@Aaron_in_TX

"Depends how much health care dominates the primaries. If it does, Romney is toast. His opponents can just replay "I like mandates" ad nauseum."

Right. That's why he's will have a hard time getting the nomination. Like I said, Gingrich has the money and the connections, plus he can ratchet up the social conservatism better than anyone on that list except Palin.

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williame123:

What I find astonishing is that with all the heat Obama has taken recently plus the nature and depth of our fiscal and unemployment crises, nationally established Republicans are not leading Obama in 2010 likely models(which should clearly favor Republicans). What this and other horserace polls show is that Obama is far stronger than the MSM and conservative pundits would care to admit.

Many conservative pundits say Obama is incompetent, weak and feckless and yet they attritubute to Obama the ability to destroy the country purposely with bad policy. How can an incompetent dolt convince even centrists and conservatives in the Dem party to go along with such far reaching and complex legislation as HCR, ARRA and FinReg? What frustrates conservatives is not Obama's incompetence but rather is competence and effectiveness.

After Scott Brown's election, the MSM and conservative pundits said HCR was dead and that Obama was incompetent. 2 months later, conservatives were angty and crying as Obama signed HCR into law. Now the BP oil spill is Obama's Katrina and Obama is finished politically. Meanwhile, Obama is about to sign the most far reaching financial regulation bill since the Great Depression into law in a few weeks and put his second nominee on to the Supreme Court. To make matters worse, there are almost no credible polls showing Obama behind any national Republican candidates for 2012. All this despite the fact that Romney et al are not under the intense scrutiny that Obama is.

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StatyPolly:

"Republicans are not leading Obama in 2010 likely models"

This ain't a Likely model. Not even registered voters. Just adults, half of whom may be illegal.

It's only been 19 mos since election. People are still coming down off their BOBO high. No CHANCE he will be nearly as well liked as he is now in another two years. Yes, even if the economy starts to rock. NO CHANCE!

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Aaron_in_TX:

"No CHANCE he will be nearly as well liked as he is now in another two years."

That is what they said about Reagan and Clinton, particularly after both suffered harsh midterms.

It's also what was said about Bush II, who was beatable (as Obama will be as well).

Remember the democrats in 2004? The premier candidates (Hillary, Gore) passed, so they had a bunch of also-ran 2nd rate politicians with no name recognition (Kerry, Clark, Edwards, Graham, Mosely-Braun), former losers (Lieberman, Gephardt) and never-weres (Sharpton, Kucinich, Dean) to choose from. They ended up choosing the least sucky of those to run based on nothing more than his war service. And then for some reason democrats had selective amnesia in that they forgot John Kerry was the POSTER BOY for Vietnam Veterans Against the War! His campaign was "I'm not Bush." That never wins on its own.

Idiots. Hillary Clinton or Al Gore were the only electable possibilities that year.

The 1996 republican bench was particularly weak too. Bob Dole was a 3 time loser, 4-time after 1996. Colin Powell could have won that year. 1984: Mondale - former loser and VP of the person Reagan trounced. Idiots. Another very weak field. Gary Hart would had a more energetic loss and John Glenn or Ted Kennedy might have at least given Reagan a race.

The difference in 1980 and 1992 was that the candidates those years were proven winners, not losers (when they had lost they bounced back) and had the assistance of 3rd party candidates, not that Anderson or Perot were the crucial factors, but they didn't help Carter or Bush. Most importantly, the incumbents were uncharismatic. Charismatic incumbents do not lose to uncharismatic ones, even when half the people hate their guts (Bush II).

All the potentials in this poll have loser stink on them.

I'm watching 13 possible (the list includes all of the above except Paul) R candidates for 2012, plus 5 long-shots. IMO, the only person who would beat Obama would be David Petreus. John Thune and Paul Ryan are distinct 2016 possibilities. They would be well served by not making fools of themselves in the 2012 cycle.

From your perspective you shouldn't worry. Obama's damage has been done with health care, financial reform and possibly an energy bill. I expect an immigration reform bill will come after 2010 but it will be more bi-partisan probably involving a path to citizenship + troops on the border or something and AZ style laws (they will not be an issue if path to citizenship for those here is set).

You complain about the stimulus & bailouts but you know as well as I do McCain would have engaged in stimulus spending too, just might have been a little smaller due to veto or veto threat. Obama's likely to have a congress with small majorities on either side whether he gets re-elected or not and will not get any more signature legislation though without significant bi-partisanship.

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StatyPolly:

Some good points there, Aaron, but here is what I disagree with. Regardless of size, McCain's stimulus would have probably looked very different. I hope he would not have bailed out states with it. Not sure if he would have bailed out private co's like GM. He did support TARP, which I strongly opposed at the time, but we can't guess beyond that. I think BO's saving, creating and increasing pay for federal, state and local public sector jobs is a terrible approach.

I agree with you that the more charismatic candidates beat lesser ones, and although I never viewed Bush II as charismatic, I guess he was more so than either Gore or Kerry. As far as Hillary and Gore sitting out in 04, they had good reasons. Bush's approval. I think incumbent's re-electability depends to a large degree on his job approval during election year. Even though Bush did not even win the popular vote in 2000, due to 9/11 his approval stayed above 50 his entire first term, except one in and out quick little dip just under.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html

Bush's approval never got as low as in his first term as BO has already achieved in his first 18 months. Gallup also points out that while BO's approval line is pretty similar to Reagan's during their first year and a half, BO's disapproval is measurably higher. So BO's supporters best hopes are that he will emulate Reagan with his approval trend and it will rise like Reagan's did as the economy recovers before he runs for re-election. But I just don't think it will work out that way for BO. Just my gut feel here. While they both inherited deep recessions, the specifics are different. Unemployment rate is similar, but other measurements are not. I think best case scenario now is we'll have a snail's pace recovery for a long while, unless we get deficits under control. And I suppose it could happen, especially with big GOP wins this Nov, but it would also require BO's changing his philosophy on the role and scope of govt. I think things are stacked up pretty well against his re-election in 12.

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Shannon,Dallas,Texas:

@TeaPartyRules

"I've told you guys several times to get ready for President Palin. She is building a huge political army as we post."

Palin's army may not be eligible to vote after they secede from the Union in AK and TX.

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slobone:

I get down on my knees every night and pray for Sarah Palin to be the Republican nominee.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"I hope he would not have bailed out states with it. Not sure if he would have bailed out private co's like GM."

1) Keep in mind the corporate bailouts were Bush policy and Obama's role in the stimulus was mostly cheerleading. The congress would have been the same.

2) with a repub president, a few of the more moderate republicans would have been more willing to deal

3) the aid to states was the part most people agreed upon. No one wanted multiple state defaults.

Republicans have been complaining about deficits since FDR. They complain about deficits when they win and they complain when they're losing. The only time they don't complain about deficits is when they govern.

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StatyPolly:

I am not sure that I saw data that most people agreed on aid to states. Maybe so, but states did not have to default. Just had to cut spending. And even if they did default, it's not that big a deal, IMO. That just gives them a chance to restructure their obligations, like the insane pensions to former state employees. We should have let GM go BK for the exact same reasons. We gave aid to states, and now they want more, since they have not addressed the underlying fiscal structure problems. It's like giving free drugs to addicts. And you're correct that Repubs would have done something similar. But political climate has changed to the point where people will accept fewer services as long as the debt issue is addressed.

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Aaron_in_TX:

From what I read, state medicaid obligation was the worst problem by far. It would have exploded something like 20 state budgets. Many states, CA the best example, are dependent upon capital gains taxes and therefore good market conditions.

I don't think Americans are prepared to accept the kinds of cuts that would be required to balance the budget. To do so would require significantly cutting defense and medicare. Everything else is chump change and won't make a dent. Not even republicans are prepared to do that.

Look at how staunchly they defended medicare and they seem unwilling to cut defense, soldier or VA benefits one bit. Funny how they disparage gov't workers but not members of the military whose benefits are quite generous.

Knowing what I know now about how the system works, I could re-join the military, volunteer for 2 deployments, and literally save $250,000 in 2-3 years through salary, special pays, bonuses, and bond and savings programs that they have. That doesn't even include the value of the health care and education benefits. I could get them to pay for an online degree while I'm over there and then get use the GI Bill to completely pay for a higher degree and living stipend when I'm done. All it takes is dealing with 24 months in the suck.

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