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Obama's Re-election Prospects Uncertain Amid Weakness Among Independents


While the 2012 U.S. presidential election is nearly two years away, the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday suggest that President Barack Obama's prospects for re-election are uncertain at best due to weakness among independent voters.

The poll showed that 49 percent of voters think that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected compared to the 43 percent that think he does deserve to be re-elected. Among independents, 51 percent said that Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, while 35 percent said that he does deserve to be re-elected.

Nonetheless, Obama continues to have strong support among Democrats, with 81 percent saying that he deserves to be re-elected. Additionally, 64 percent of Democratic voters said they do not want anyone to challenge Obama for their party's nomination in 2012.

"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," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

On the Republican said, the poll showed former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in a virtual tie in terms of voter preferences for the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.

While Palin holds a slim lead over the other possible GOP nominees, with 19 percent of Republicans saying they would vote for her in the Republican primary, she trails Obama in the potential presidential race by 40 percent to 48 percent.

In the potential Republican primary, Romney and Huckabee receive the support of 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively, while 15 percent said that they would vote for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Romney and Huckabee both do better than Palin in matchups against Obama, with Romney leading the president by 45 percent to 44 percent and Huckabee trailing Obama by just 46 percent to 44 percent.

The poll also showed that Obama leads Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a virtual unknown to most voters, by 45 percent to 35 percent.

"At this point, former Alaska Gov. Palin runs the worst against President Obama," said Brown. "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."

He added, "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."

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