If election were held today, Obama would lose

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter

According to a Gallup poll released on Thursday, President Barack Obama would fall to an unnamed Republican candidate by a narrow margin if the election were held today.

Although 44 percent of respondents said they would vote for a Republican candidate when asked whom they would support in the 2012 election, only 39 percent of participants said they would vote for Obama. Eighteen percent of respondents said they had no opinion.

The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted with 914 registered voters between June 9 and June 12. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

While the Gallup report notes that the Republican Party’s lead is statistically insignificant, the numbers suggest that the race is close.

However, recent surveys have shown that Obama usually fares well in a head-to-head matchup against the current Republican candidates.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday, for example, found that Obama would beat Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, 49 percent to 43 percent. (LEADING THE PACK: Romney still ahead of other candidates in poll)

The NBC/WSJ poll also reported that Obama would win against top-tier contender Tim Pawlenty by 50 percent to 39 percent.

Most polls have agreed with the NBC/WSJ findings, with the exception being a Washington Post/ABC poll conducted earlier this month that found Obama and Romney to be tied with 47 percent of the vote. When the results were adjusted to include only registered voters, Romney was found to lead Obama by 49 percent to 46 percent. It should be noted that Romney’s lead falls within the poll’s plus or minus 3.5 percent margin of error.

The fact that a generic Republican candidate fares better than any of the actual Republican candidates seem to point to a general unhappiness with the Republican field.

Though a Gallup poll released on Sunday reported that 67 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were satisfied with the field, the NBC/WSJ poll found Republicans evenly split on the issue, with 45 percent of respondents satisfied and 45 percent dissatisfied.

And with recent signs of dissatisfaction such as the persistence of committees looking to draft Paul Ryan or Chris Christie as candidates, the above numbers seem to confirm that Republicans are in an “anyone but Obama” mindset. (CALLED OUT: Pawlenty attacks Romney on Twitter after backing down in debate)

Backing this theory, a Public Policy Polling survey released on Thursday found that a majority of Republican voters would choose the candidate with the best chance of beating Obama over a candidate with solid conservative values.

A recent Gallup poll also found that 50 percent of Republicans would rather see a Republican nominee with the best chance of beating Obama rather than a candidate who agrees with them on most issues.

So while the public appears to be somewhat amenable to voting for a candidate other than Obama, Americans do not appear too enthused by the options currently available.