Poll: Democrats split on 2012 Obama primary challenge
November 24th, 2010
12:27 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Democrats split on 2012 Obama primary challenge

Washington (CNN) - Democrats are divided on whether President Barack Obama should face a primary challenge in the next presidential election, according to a new national poll.

A McClatchy-Marist survey released Wednesday also indicates that Obama would come out on top in a very hypothetical three way 2012 general election matchup against former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the GOP nominee and New York City Michael Bloomberg as an independent candidate. And according to the poll, only 36 percent say they would definitely vote to re-elect Obama.

Forty-six percent of Democrats and Democratic leaning independent voters questioned in the survey say they don't want the president to face a Democratic primary challenge, with 45 percent saying they do want such a challenge to occur, with nine percent unsure.

Four out of ten Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democrats say they prefer a more conservative challenger, while 39 percent say they want a challenger who is more liberal.

"Interestingly, a plurality of Democrats – 42 percent – would like to see a more liberal challenger while half of Democratic leaning independents – 50 percent – would like to see a more conservative one," says the release by the Marist poll.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted at the end of October, nearly three out of four Democrats and independents who lean towards the Democrats prefer Obama as their party's 2012 presidential nominee, with 22 percent preferring another Democrat.

The McClatchy-Marist poll indicates that 48 percent of registered voters nationwide plan to vote against the president in 2012, with 36 percent saying they'll vote to re-elect Obama and 15 percent undecided at this very early date in the next election cycle.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Monday indicates that a plurality of Americans don't think Obama deserves to be re-elected to a second term in the White House, and an Associated Press-GfK survey released 11 days ago indicated that 54 percent thought Obama should be voted out of office in 2012. To be fair, all of these surveys have been conducted in the days and weeks following major Republican victories in the midterm elections.

According to the McClatchy-Marist poll, 50 percent of independent voters say they won't support Obama in a bid for re-election, with three in ten saying they plan to vote for the president in 2012 and one in five undecided.

"As the electoral page turns from the midterms to 2012, President Obama starts off, not surprisingly, in a somewhat tenuous position," says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Looking ahead to 2012, the Marist survey appears to be the first to ask about a very hypothetical Obama-Palin-Bloomberg showdown, with 45 percent of registered voters saying they would back Obama, 31 percent supporting Palin and 15 percent casting a ballot for Bloomberg, with nine percent undecided.
According to the survey, six in ten say they don't want the New York City mayor to run for the White House, with 12 percent saying they'd like Bloomberg to take the plunge into presidential politics and more than a quarter unsure.

The poll indicates that in a hypothetical battle for the GOP presidential nomination, one in five Republicans and Republican leaning independents say they would support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with 16 percent backing former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 13 supporting Palin, one in ten backing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and everyone else in single digits.

The McClatchy-Marist survey is in line with numerous other polls that suggest that there's no single front-runner in upcoming battle for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

The McClatch-Marist poll was conducted November 15-18, with 1,020 adults nationwide, including 810 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Absolutely NOT! United we stand, divided we fall! Don't succumb to all the Republican nonsense! We're smarter than that – and we have in our president a man of integrity and intelligence; all they've got are tax cuts for the wealthy being peddled by the likes of Palin, Miller, Rand and all the other self-centered bimbos that are currently representing the Republican Party.

    To the Party of No, I say, HELL NO! We stand behind President Obama!

    November 24, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Oh, Brady, Brady, Brady! You have such a short memory and apparently a very strong, self-destructive streak in you! President Obama and his policies kept our country from going into a full-blown economic Depression, the likes of which we haven't seen since 1929! (Brought on, BTW, by the tried-and-failed Republican economic policies.)

    My biggest complaint about President Obama is that he should have been faster in accepting that the Republicans only care about power and wealth, and couldn't care less about what destruction they wreck upon the American people in their quest to regain the White House, Congress and the Senate.

    My hope is that in the coming two years, President Obama will play hard ball, call the Repubs on their bluffs and BLOW THEM THE HECK OUT OF THE WATER!

    November 24, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Colby

    I truly believe the President when he says he is not thinking about reelection, just as I truly believe he doesn't think about the millions of unemployed Americans. The President only thinks about one thing...HIMSELF!

    November 24, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Dave

    If Obama doesn't want to do the job he was elected to, we'll find someone who will. That job is standing up for Progressive values

    November 24, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Howard

    The tea party and Sarah Palin are popular, because Americans are tired of out of touch, elitist, empty suit leadesr, like Obama wasting trillions of hard earned tax dollars, and turning America into a third world country. Those of us who love this country, want our government to be of the people, by the people and for the people. That's what the tea party and Palin are ... 'the people' ... no matter how many snide condescending sarcastic insults come from the elitist progressive left.

    November 24, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. CitizenJP

    With all the land mark accomplishments President Obama has under his belt in a very short time, I have no doubt that not only he is the best the democrats have but also he will have a landslide victory against any republican challenger. It is ridiculous to compare the quitter governer of Alaska Sarah Palin to President Obama: it is like comparing the brilliance of a piece of coal to that of the sun. However, if Americans like to have a semieducated and unintelligent bimbo who uses words such as patriotism, guns, and religion to brainwash a sector of people, by all means they should elect Sarah Palin.

    November 24, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Paul

    Perhaps if CNN would cover some the good things this president has done and actually discuss the merits of his policies, and the policies of his opposition, than we could see how much better the presidents policies are.

    November 24, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Alison

    "Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving!"

    Okay, calm down person. And I consider myself a democrat. You don't know me. I'm not a rat. You seem to be republican. I don't think you're a psycho religious person.

    And all in all, this article tells us nothing really.

    November 24, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Marcus

    Sorry to use this post to answer what was told about a post of mine in a trend below.
    Fair is Fair – If comparing the racial segregation in military (and life) issues with the segregation of homosexuals in military issues today is, according to your own words, to compare 'apples with oranges', then why there are so many sad similiraties between the arguments used today against the end of this segregation with the ones used back then when Truman said 'end this right now'?
    Coincidence?
    Sorry fella, SEGREGATION is not just about race, it's about race and gender and faith and ancestry and political ideology and (last but not least) sexuality. You want to deny rights to a person based solely in one of these points and not on this person's illegal acts (if he/she has commited one), then you are segregating.
    Plain and simple.

    Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving.
    'Obozo has far more in common with Hugo Chavez and Fidel castro than he does with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.'
    Proofs, please. If he has them then he just lied when he made the oath when he was sworn POTUS, so if you have any proofs of it (blatant disregard for the Constitution he swore to follow) then the USA as a whole has no other option but to IMPEACH and ARREST him.
    But please pay atention, I said 'proofs', and I mean it in the legal sense of the word. Forgeries or the likes will lead YOU to prison if you come up with them and not 'proofs' as defined per law.
    PS: Your biased opinion and rants are not legally proof of anything.

    November 24, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Derrick Martin

    Democrats Beware. I will vote for President Obama only and if you try to challenge him I will never again vote for a democrat. I am so sick of all this racism going on. Most people (including the media) know what is happening but refuse to say it. Well as you know by now I will call it as it is.
    NOW CENSURE THAT CNN

    November 24, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. Charles W. Skinner

    Ahh, the sweet, sweet sounds of the dissatisfaction of the PUMA voter. Maybe the Clinton voters will follow the TEA Party model, form the PUMA Party and get their butts in gear and get Hillary to run on a primary challenge. It will finally be great to watch the Democrat party tear itself to shreds after the Leninist- liberal turn that it took over the past two years and the price it just paid for that liberal philosophy in the last elections.

    November 24, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. John

    Poor Brady is a bonafide rethug koolaid drinker. Obama might have doomed his presidency by making sure those who don't have healthcare, have acess to it, wow, that's so unamerican according to dimwits like Brady. He also made sure that Wall street doesn't rob you blind but Brady and numnutz like him don't see that, they only see the crap being fed by their masters,

    November 24, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Gaylon Barrow THE UNBIASED THRUTH!

    You have that right. You cant find two people out of ten in this Texas City that will vote Obama. He is a liar and hates America. It is obvious to see if people open their eyes. Even though the media wishes it not so and fights her on every term because they known they can not affect her is why Sarah Palin will be President. Also, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, says the United States needs to treat North Korea like the “rogue nation that it is” or risk a nuclear arms race in the region. He also tells “it’s crazy” not to profile airline passengers — and vows that Congress will thwart President Barack Obama’s “ill-guided mission” to try terrorist suspects in civilian courts. They shoudl be tried by the military. These teriost committed an agressive act on the United States. therefore making it a military concern. OF COURSE THIS IS WHY OBAMA WANTS THEM TRIED IN CIVILIAN COURT. HE KNOWS WITH SELECTIVE JURY HE CAN GET THEM OFF OR THEIR PENALITIES REDUCE. HE SHOULD BE TRIED.

    November 24, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. independentsvote

    If they think any Democrat who has a smell of a chance at winning the primary will even run against him, they are wrong. Even sillier is the idea that they think a Republican is going to even come close to winning the White House in 2012. I am not backing him. I didn't vote for him, I am just saying...

    November 24, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Whys

    I voted for Obama and until the other day, I was behind him. I won't vote for him again until his own daughters walk thru the body scanners and we all get to look at the images.

    November 24, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. AdmiralJ

    Please, Please, Please run the backwoods hillbilly from Alaska in '12. Obama will crush her like a bug in summer. The woman is an idiot and would be shunned on the world stage by foreign leaders. If you think Bush did damage to the US repetition during his term, just think what would happen if ( and that's a huge IF ) she were elected.

    Those who are polled and think there should be a primary challenge are Hilliary's supporters hoping to have their failed wish come true.....won't happen. As of today there is no one on the political stage who could beat Obama.

    November 24, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. kat

    Anyone who would vote to re-elect this clow is an idiot. He may have fooled the voters once, but if they really have a brain, they will not fall for the crap twice.

    November 24, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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