March 26th, 2010
02:16 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama tied in hypothetical 2012 matchup

The public is split right down the middle on whether President Barack Obama should be re-elected.
The public is split right down the middle on whether President Barack Obama should be re-elected.

Washington (CNN) – The public is split right down the middle on whether President Barack Obama should be re-elected and a majority of Americans predict he will be a one-term president, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that if the 2012 presidential election were held today, 47 percent of registered voters would back Obama, with an equal amount supporting an unnamed Republican challenger. Fifty-four percent of people questioned say Obama will lose if he runs for re-election in 2012, with 44 percent saying the president would win a second term.

"That may sound like a bad position to start from, but note that Bill Clinton was down 15 points to an unnamed Republican in March of 1994, and wound up winning the election two years later," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll indicates that the gender and generation gaps that we saw in the 2008 election have not disappeared.

Full results (pdf)


"Obama has a nine-point advantage among younger voters and an eight-point edge among women, but he loses among men and older voters," Holland said. "Independents currently favor the Republican by 11 points."

More than three out of four Democrats questioned say they want Obama re-nominated in 2012. Back in 1994 only 57 percent of Democrats said they wanted Clinton renominated.

"Historically speaking, support from Democrats is crucial to Obama's re-election chances - not just in the primaries, but in the general election as well," adds Holland. "No incumbent facing a significant challenger in his party's primaries has gone on to win re election; some political junkies believe that a primary fight would guarantee an Obama loss in 2012. But support from three quarters of all Democrats may help Obama scare off any serious challenger in 2012, significantly helping his chances in the general election."

On the GOP side, it's impossible to say who the frontrunner currently is, with three potential candidates - Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee - bunched together at the front of the pack within a few points of each other. 22 percent of Republicans want to see Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2008 GOP White House hopeful, get the GOP nomination; Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, wins support from 18 percent of GOPers and former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee comes in at 17 percent.. All other Republicans tested were in single digits.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 19-21, with 1,030 adult Americans, including 531 Republicans and independents who lean Republican, and 448 Democrats and independents who Democratic, questioned by telephone. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • CNN poll • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. ran

    What is it CNN with you and your ridiculous polls.

    When will you do an actual poll that reflects the nation. One where you contact people other than those with a land line.

    March 25, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. A Real American

    "Somebody else" might win a squeaker of a hypothetical poll today, but in 2012, President Obama will be running against a real Republican, with a real record, and in that contest, President Obama will win a second term. Guaranteed.

    March 25, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  3. Donnatella

    With the dirty tricks these republicans are pulling, and the nightmare that our new republican governor has become, I will vote for Obama in a heartbeat, I think by the time he runs again, so many people are going to be fed up with the republicans until he will probably win in a landslide.

    March 25, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. I am the Great and Sociopathic Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Gee, CNN, Do ya Think that you could report that the poll was taken
    BEFORE health care reform passed?

    March 25, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Pragmatic

    The GOP will now refuse to cooperate with anything ala McCain, waste time and tax payer dollars on silly lawsuits that will fail, and totally ignore anything that has to do with job creation, the economy, financial reform or immigration reform .... just like they did in 2000.

    Then they will ask for our vote with more "fear & smear" – like the famous mushroom cloud ... Can't lead, won't follow and refuse to get out of the way!

    March 25, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. J.R.

    As an American I will still vote for President Obama, he is still better than anyone else so far, and farther.
    Change takes time, this fall out in the economy has been 20+ years in the making, and if people think otherwise, WELL-they better get their heads out of the quicksand!
    The BOLD LETTER WRITING has been on the WALL and nobody was interested in reading it - they just blindly went on thinking the bubble was floating forever - especially those now believing it was the current administration at fault - Well, guess what FOLKS? Everybody in the room, Independent, Democrats, Republicans, etc etc etc has stuck their greedy hands into the pie before it was ready to eat!
    Now that the Big "S" has hit the fan and boomeranged right back into their faces, they claim "WE DID NOT SEE IT COMING!"
    When the room really starts to stinks, the ones crying foul the loudest are usually the criminals trying to divert attention away from themselves: blaming even the 'Aliens' for their own corruption.
    One does not have to read between the lines, the writing could not have been any BOLDER!

    March 25, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. John

    GOPers are dreaming.

    Obama will win 2012.

    Most GOP polls had predicted in 2008 that McCain will win.

    GOP polls are onesided, misleading and bogus.

    Obama !! Obama !! Obama !!!

    March 25, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. Justin - NC

    I wish CNN would stick to reporting about current news instead of an election that's 2+ years away. At the end of 2007, Hillary Clinton was the presumptive nominee of the democratic ticket before an unknown, Barack Obama took it all the way to the White House. Polls said Health Care was dead in the water only months back, now its the law of the land and gaining more public support once people stop listening to the Republican lies and actually learn whats in the bill.

    Once again, Polls don't mean squat!

    March 25, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Susan, AZ

    great .... we will see how the polls go against Palin-Beck 2012

    March 25, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. jeff

    He wont run if he is smart which he is supposed to be but ask his advisers they all worked for bill

    March 25, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. A Real American

    Reality-check: Democrats will keep the House and Senate in 2010, and Obama will win re-election in 2012. The unhinged right will continue their struggle with reality.

    March 25, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Jake

    Stalin Mao Marx Castro Hitler Obama

    March 25, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Blue Dogs for Perry 2010

    if the Republicans nominate Romney, Obama's FINISHED.

    March 25, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney, Palin and Huckabee how about adding Mickey Mouse to the GOP's list, he'd have a better chance.

    March 25, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. brian tabakin

    this poll is useless and pointless. A news organization of such prominence should know that 2012 is decades away in the timeline of politics, and this poll is meaningless at best and disingenuous. Instead of wasting our time with this poll, how about you poll something relevant.

    March 25, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  16. Mike

    Anyone but uhbama, 2012.

    March 25, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    "Hypothetical?" Seriously? No wonder I stopped watching CNN. Well, HYPOTHETICALLY the Repubs are correct and Armageddon will come this week too. *rolls eyes* CNN needs some new people.

    March 25, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    I'm amazed. Almost half of these people polled want more of this kind of performance out of Washington? More of this brand of politics and completely abusing the federal treasury?!?!? And accomplishing nothing??? What, did they do the poll through the Oprah show?

    March 25, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. Desmond in Canada

    No brainer: Anybody who has brains, is compassionate and seeks justice will strive to make sure that Obama is re-elected. It is tragic that there are very stupid people in the USA who cannot/will not appreciate what a great President they have, one whom the rest of the world would love to have – any day!!!

    March 25, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. MnMary

    CNN, who do you poll? Everyone I've "polled" supports Obama all the way! Barack Obama is the BEST president EVER!

    Obama 2012!!!

    March 25, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  21. Steve, Clifton, VA

    What is the value in running a poll of an election that is two (2) years away when we can't phantom whats going to happen from day to day?

    March 25, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. Jewel

    I've never been polled!

    March 25, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. Chad from Tampa

    Obama is taking our freedoms away, raising our taxes, re-distributing the wealth... Of course he will be a one-termer.

    March 25, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. hobart

    CNN, why do you keep publishing polls that you took BEFORE the health care reform bill was passed?! Are you not aware that polls taken since then say something completely different?!

    This is the third poll you've published this week that you took before the health care bill passed. Can't you get with the program and be up to date, or are you now joining Fox News in trying to influence public opinion rather than reporting on it.

    How about some real journalism?!

    March 25, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. Otto

    I love the polls BUT the same could be said for the 2006 election. I don't think Bush would have won if he did not carefully used the "color" codes...

    March 25, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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