Obama trails unnamed ‘generic’ Republican by 8 points

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Barack Obama would lose the 2012 presidential election to any Republican he were to face if the election were held today, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

According to Gallup, 46 percent of registered voters say they are more likely to vote for the Republican nominee in 2012, while 38 percent say they are more likely to vote for Obama. This is the second month in a row that a generic Republican has led the president by 8 percentage points.

One problem for Obama is that registered Democrats are less committed to voting for him than Republicans are for the Republican candidate. Fully 92 percent of registered Republicans say they will vote for GOP candidates, while just 2 percent say they will vote for Obama.

Just 78 percent of Democrats, on the other hand, say they are likely to vote for Obama, while 9 percent say they are more likely to vote for the Republican. More Democrats than Republicans are also undecided.

Complicating the president’s re-election picture further is the fact that independents also break for the generic Republican, 43 percent to 30 percent. Gallup does note, however, that the large number of undecided independents could be a “hopeful sign” for the president.

Despite the good news for Republicans, no actual GOP candidate has been able to capitalize on the potential measured by Gallup’s generic ballot. Though various polls have shown Republican candidates leading Obama in a head-to-head match up, the lead is rarely by more than a few points.

A Public Policy Polling poll released Tuesday found Obama leading all of his potential competitors except for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with whom he is tied. Rasmussen’s recent slate of head-to-head polls has Obama leading each of the Republican candidates; a Quinnipiac poll found Romney leading the president, but only by 4 points.

The new Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews with 876 registered voters from October 6 through October 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.