Gallup poll: voters evenly split on whether to re-elect Obama

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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With his hallmark health-care reform effort in jeopardy, President Barack Obama about evenly divides registered voters on whether they’d re-elect him in 2012, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

Forty-four percent would vote for Obama compared to 42 percent for a Republican party candidate. The remaining 14 percent are undecided or would vote for another candidate.

The poll also says independents favor a Republican candidate over Obama, 45 percent  to 31 percent.

But Obama — whose approval ratings have stood at about 50 percent — is historically within range of poll numbers of those who are re-elected.

“The 50% approval figure has been a strong predictor of an incumbent president’s re-election: presidents who averaged 50% or better from January of an election year through Election Day have all been re-elected,” according to Gallup. “This includes George W. Bush, who averaged 51% in 2004, though his approval rating was 48% in Gallup’s final pre-election poll.”

Of the Republicans who listed their preferred 2012 candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney topped the poll with 14 percent, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin garnered 11 percent.

Forty-two percent were undecided.

Other candidates who brought in at least 3 percent in the poll were John McCain, Scott Brown, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich.