President Barack Obama only leads a generic Republican candidate by 2 percentage points in a potential 2012 match up, according to a new Gallup Poll out Thursday that also shows a continued drift of independents from Democrats.
Obama leads 44 percent to 42 percent, a statistical dead heat, against a nameless Republican, according to the survey of 1,025 adults nationwide.
Not surprisingly, the poll shows that Democrats strongly believe the president should be reelected, while Republicans would like to see one of their own in the White House.
But among independent voters, 45 percent would back a Republican and only 31 percent would favor the president. Twenty-four percent of independents are not sure if they would vote for Obama or a Republican candidate.
The trick is to get the right Republican candidate to oppose the President in 2012, and to be sure, once the place of “elephant” is taken up by an actual political personality, the poll numbers may change somewhat. But this is yet more evidence that the President–at least for the moment–is no longer the political juggernaut he once was.