In a month when President Obama slipped into the 40s against each Republican polled against him in a hypothetical 2012 general election match up (via Public Policy Polling [pdf]), things obviously were not looking that good across the board. In an overall sense, we quickly get a feel for that tightening simply by looking at the trendlines for each of the prospective Republican presidential aspirants (There's now even a trendline for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty -- see below and in the left sidebar).
Margin of Error: +/- 2.8%
Sample: 1253 registered voters (nationwide)
Conducted: December 4-7, 2009
There isn't really much to the poll other than to say that overall, things are much closer than they were, say, at the beginning of PPP's process of looking at the the 2012 back in March (Palin) and April (Gingrich, Huckabee, Romney added). And that largely tracks with the president's approval numbers throughout the year. FHQ would be remiss, though, if we didn't at least bring up a few nuggets from the internals of the poll.
On the 2008 presidential vote:
- Huckabee does the best of any of the Republican candidates at pulling together the most McCain voters (85%) and minimizing the number of repeat Obama voters (89%). The former Arkansas governor was the only Republican to keep Obama's support among his former voters below 90%.
- President Obama is still approaching 90% approval among liberals and is right at two-thirds approval among moderates. Not surprisingly, the president is taking the biggest hit among self-described conservatives (only 15% approve).
- Sarah Palin is the most favorable candidate to conservatives, but both she and Mike Huckabee garner 79% support from the group against the president.
- Obama consistently loses the 65+ set and essentially breaks even (to slightly loses) the 46-65 demographic to all the Republicans polled. However, the president is well above 50% with everyone under 45.
- Palin is the most favorable Republican among Hispanic respondents, but only reaches 37% favorability. The president continues to hold over 90% support among registered African American voters and about two-thirds of Hispanic voters against all four Republicans.
- Men still prefer Republicans and women Obama, but this is noteworthy because it is the first time Sarah Palin has led the president among men (48-45) in a PPP survey.
- The quirk is gone (...in December at least). Obama didn't sweep the South as he has on several other occasions in these PPP polls. Instead, the president was swept in the region where the Republican Party found its base in the 2008 presidential election. More troubling to Obama from an electoral standpoint is that the president was swept by all four Republicans in the midwest. The president was able to make inroads in the peripheral South in 2008 and can potentially afford to jettison states like Virginia and North Carolina in 2012. But if Michigan and Indiana and Ohio begin to creep into the mix in terms of competitiveness, things could get interesting in the fall of 2012. Much of that will depend on the state of the economy, though.
The Links (12/10/09)
PPP: 2012 Presidential Trial Heats (Dec. '09): Huckabee within 1 Point of Obama
Democrats and Republicans Unified on a March Primary Start? All Signs Point Toward Yes