Poll: Obama eight point advantage over Palin in '12 matchup
November 22nd, 2010
10:01 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Obama eight point advantage over Palin in '12 matchup

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama leads Sarah Palin by 8 percentage points in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup, according to a new national poll.

But a Quinnipiac University survey also indicates that a plurality of Americans don't think Obama deserves to be re-elected to a second term in the White House.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned in the poll, which was released Monday, say that the president does not deserve to be re-elected, with 43 percent saying he does deserve a second term and nine percent unsure.

An Associated Press-GfK survey released 11 days ago indicated that 54 percent thought Obama should be voted out of office in 2012, with 39 percent saying the president deserves to be re-elected, and nine percent unsure. The AP-GfK survey was conducted November 3-8, in the days immediately after major Republican victories in the midterm elections.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, Republicans by a 92 to 4 margin and independents by a 51 to 35 margin don't think Obama deserves to be re-elected, with more than eight in ten Democrats saying that the president does deserve a second term.

"The Democratic base remains squarely behind President Barack Obama when it comes to his re-election, but his weakness among independent voters at this point makes his 2012 election prospects uncertain," says Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The demographic splits in the electorate when voters are asked whether the president deserves a second term is a roadmap for his re-election strategists on how they need to focus their appeal. Only 39 percent of men, 34 percent of whites, 35 percent of political independents and 38 percent of those over age 35 think he deserves four more years in the Oval Office," adds Brown.

According to the poll, Obama has a 48 to 40 advantage over Palin in a hypothetical general election matchup. The president also held an 8-point advantage, 52 to 44 percent, over the former Alaska governor in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released two weeks ago.

The Quinnipiac survey indicates that Obama has a 44 to 37 percent advantage over Palin among independent voters.

According to the poll, hypothetical matchups between the president other possible 2012 GOP presidential contenders have closer margins. Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2008 Republican presidential candidate received 45 percent to 44 percent for Obama, while the president has 46 percent to 44 percent for former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee. Obama leads Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels 45 to 36 percent.

"At this point, former Alaska Gov. Palin runs the worst against President Obama. Daniels is essentially a generic Republican because of his anonymity to most voters. Obama only gets 45 percent against him while he gets 48 percent against Ms. Palin," said Brown. "She is very unpopular among independents and although she recently said she thought she could defeat Obama, the data does not now necessarily support that assertion."

According to the survey, Romney, Huckabee, Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are bunched together when Republican voters are asked who they prefer for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination. Other recent polls from CNN/ORC and Gallup have similar results.

To be fair, polls at this stage in the next cycle are heavily influenced by name recognition and popularity.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted November 8-15, with 2,424 registered voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points.

Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data of any news organization in the political landscape.


Filed under: 2012 • Polls • President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Charlie from the North

    Really? Is that all?

    Here is the thing. I find it simply tragic but true. About 26% of the people out there would vote for Palin. It is the same 26% who want to teach creationism in our schools, think that George W Bush wa an excellent president, global warming is a hoax, the earth is flat and only 6000 years old etc. etc. Say whatever else you want to about these folks but they vote. Now 26% doesn't sound like much but it can be if only 50% our the voters vote. If that happens the impact of that 26% is doubled. That same 26% who many dismiss as the "Tea Pardiots" will be the majority if only 1/2 the people vote.

    November 22, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Lisa - VA

    This is sickening...Obama has not served a full two years..and people are saying he should not be re-elected. WTH...we gave George W. Bush 8 years..and this was after we found out there were no WMDs. Can we at least wait to see how the next year turns out before rushing to judgement on this man. REALLY......

    November 22, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. katiec

    Who in the world even cares what a poll says about the 2012 elections? To even post such results is an insult to the American peoples intelligence.
    Palin, with her incompetence, ego, headline grabbing goals which CNN never fails to comply with, will self destruct
    in the near future. You cannot be a habitual liar, fear mongerer, hate filled egomaniac without messing up big
    time.

    November 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. EBC

    This won't stop Failin-Palin.

    Sarah Palin is a certifiable lunatic that doesn't think the NUMBERS or FACTS apply to her. The only numbers she knows is the ones she makes up herself in her mind.

    Sarah Palin stays in a permanent delusional state of mind. She goes around hiding behind FAUX News, her twitter blogs and facebook accounts, her coloring books of "bet'cha slogans" and NEVER deals in the REAL WORLD. She's a MASTER of making up things and believing all her garbage of spin and lies. Palin lives in a world where all she hears is the sound of her own ranting.

    Just listen to her telling Barbara Walters that she "thinks" she can beat President Obama. ON what planet Sarah? Where in your delusional mind do you think you can win? That's like saying I can beat Mike Tyson!!! LOL

    Even within the Republican Party Sarah Palin is a JOKE. They tout and promote her in front of the cameras, but the reality is MAJORITY of GOP Leadership think this woman is BONKERS!!! FOX News proved that when their own journalists were caught talking about Sarah Palin behind her back!!

    November 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Gale

    Just give her a little more time.

    November 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Snow

    The only people I can think of who would make a worse President than obama is botox pelosi and reid. Face it, a ham sandwich would be an improvement of obama.

    November 22, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Future expat

    The best thing about this poll is that it reminds us that Tim Pawlenty, despite all his obnoxious posturing, is not relevant.

    November 22, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Sick and tired of bullies running the show

    Fox's audience mostly consists of the unemployed and the retired.

    The retired folks cling naively to the belief that the wealthy will let prosperity "trickle down" to us; many of them are also mistrustful of President Obama because he's Black.

    A lot of the unemployed are low-skilled labor whose jobs have been shipped overseas or are the "dead wood" companies got rid of when they down-sized.

    Either way, these are the low-information Fox counts on to believe their lies – including that the President is the one who has been the problem in getting our economy turned around, when it's actually been the obstructionist Republicans, all the Republican governors who refused the stimulus, all the corporations sitting on $2 Trillion in cash instead of hiring people, and all the foreign corporations who influenced the mid-term elections.

    November 22, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Mandingo

    Wow, if these are the two choices come 2012 then I am staying home.

    November 22, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Charlie

    That is bad news for Obama. If he only has an 8 point lead over Palin what will happen with a less polarizing person. Then again, who would want a president that says things like "Family comes first"; and the best part is she truly believes it.

    November 22, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. CNN=Fox

    Once again, another CNN poll that is simply too unbelievable. The Palin is nothing more than a creation of the corporate media; her possible presidential run will follow the same trajectory. Nothing more than corporate America's push to make everyone in govt look like a bufoon. Like they need any help, but if you put the queen bee at the head (i.e. President) then just maybe people will start to think that the capitalist system, instead of the federal government, should be the savior of the people in times of crises.

    Any objective polling wouldn't even have her registered on the map. EVERYONE I talk to – and I mean EVERYONE – laughs or looks horrified when confronted with the possibility of a Palin presidency.

    November 22, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. mar

    I cannot believe people are even comparing president Obama with Palin!!!

    November 22, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Sgt. Joe

    I feel like I'm in an alternate universe. What's is wrong with our country? How did we ever get this stupid to think a dimwit like Palin is even a legitimate contender for POTUS?

    November 22, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Gail

    What is driving the fixation on Palin? I don't know a single republican friend who supports her. She's a sideshow train wreck with the political connections, funding, oratory skills, or track record to be taken seriously. She has ZERO chance of even getting the republican nomination, and yet the press seems incapable of talking about anyone else. It's almost as if they want her to be the GOP nominee in order to have the juciest possible story. Can we please wait a year or so and see who is even running before we do polls on therotical match-ups? It's absurd at this point.

    November 22, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. SAY WHAT!!!

    RUN PALIN RUN...I never thought I would support your candidacy for President as the Republican candidate but please do run...this from a far far left person...

    November 22, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Tam

    How can anyone sane even compare these two human beings re qualifications?

    November 22, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. W L Jones

    Some people believe the whole universe were created in six days and a poll on the seventh. Some polster will say anything just to get their name in paper.

    November 22, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. Anonymous

    It's easy to say you would vote for her hypathetically. When reality hits, people will run away from her in droves

    November 22, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    wow I guess despite the GOP's fear and misinformation platform that won them the House, EVERYBODY in the US hasn't gone totally nuts!

    November 22, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Ade

    The best gifts Republicans can give Obama is a Palin or Gingrich ticket. If Obama could have 43% approval at this time of his tenure, his numbers can only go up from here.

    November 22, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Duane

    It's funny how obsessed the left is with Palin. Keep your eyes on her as the right will undoubtedly choose another to run in 2012. Obama could beat Palin, but that counts for nothing. Sarah keeps making money hand over fist so you all keep focusing on her. Obama will get his ass handed to him come 2012 when a real conservative comes into play. Us independents will run Obama the knuckle head out of town!!! LOL......

    November 22, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. JoeT

    Truly a sign of Idiot America that the gap is only 8%.

    November 22, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. sine

    8 points? hahahahhahahaha.

    I can't wait until Palin is President. China/India/Eurpoe will be rejoicing because they will be number 1 that much faster.

    Go American Voters.

    November 22, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. The Unsub

    who is thinking about pailin right now!

    November 22, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. sammieb51

    All you parents better get on the stick and start pushing education with your kids. That's the only way out of this mess we are in. Bush was bad enuf to endure for 8 years with his total lack of education, self-control, curiosity, language - he at least had the good sense to take a back seat and let his advisors speak thru him. She has all of Bush's qualities plus she is running rogue. If we had a more educated electorate, candidates like these would never pass muster.

    November 22, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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