(CNN) - So what if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a primary challenge against President Barack Obama for the Democratic party's 2012 presidential nomination?
Yes, that's highly unlikely. But what if?
Well, Gallup asked the question, and their new poll, released Thursday, indicates that 52 percent of Democrats or Independents who lean towards the Democrats would back Obama in such a hypothetical primary contest, with 37 percent supporting Clinton and one in ten not holding an opinion.
The survey suggests an education divide, with two-thirds of college graduates backing Obama but non-college graduates divided between the president and the secretary of state. According to the poll, more than six in ten self-described liberals back Obama, with Clinton holding a plurality among those who consider themselves conservative Democrats.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted in early August indicated that nearly three-quarters of Democrats said that Obama deserved to be re-nominated. That's 17 points higher than the 57 percent of Democrats in 1994 who said that President Bill Clinton should be re-nominated in 1996.
The Gallup poll was conducted September 25-26, with 859 Democrats and Independent leaning Democrats questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.
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