CNN poll: Obama loses in 2012 to Huckabee, Romney

posted at 12:15 pm on November 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Is it too early for 2012 presidential-election blogging?  Realistically speaking, the season opened yesterday, as the candidates-to-be concluded their ground work for the midterms and now focus on the upcoming primary season.  CNN kicks it off with a new poll on some head-to-head matchups and Republican enthusiasm for each — and the names and numbers look familiar, except that Obama has started slipping against a couple of them:

In a possible general election showdown, Obama leads Palin 52-44 percent among all registered voters.

“Looking ahead to 2012, it may be too early to count Barack Obama out, particularly if Sarah Palin is his opponent,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “The former Alaska governor gets a lot of attention, but she is in third place when Republicans are asked to pick a presidential nominee, and in a hypothetical matchup with Obama she is arguably the weakest candidate of the top-tier GOP hopefuls.”

In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, Huckabee leads Obama 52 – 44 percent, while Romney has a 50-45 point advantage, which is within the poll’s sampling error. Obama holds a 49-47 percent margin over Gingrich.

The poll indicates that four in 10 have a favorable opinion of Palin, with nearly half saying they have an unfavorable view.

This presumes that Palin will actually run in 2012, of course, and that attitudes will remain fixed in that period of time.  That won’t be the case, however, especially if the US remains in the “new normal” economic stagnation that we have experienced for more than a year.  If we have another year of high unemployment and low growth and 2012 begins to look as bleak as 2010, voters will start to change their minds.

In fact, that’s the actual takeaway from this poll.  Voters seem to have crossed the Rubicon of voting against Obama in 2012.  While that may not sound like much to those who voted against him in 2008, it’s a bigger deal than people think.  Most incumbent Presidents who run for a second term win it.  The only two who have failed to do that since World War II have been Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, who also had to deal with a serious third-party candidate in Ross Perot.  (Carter claimed the same with John Anderson in 1980, but Anderson didn’t impact the race at all; Gerald Ford lost his bid for the office, but he wasn’t elected to it in the first place.)  Having majorities admit to themselves and others that they’re ready to give a one-term President the boot is a telling moment.

It then comes down to alternatives, and frankly, it’s far too early to decide on one.  The presumed candidates will have a year or more to make their cases, and we don’t even know who may or may not enter the ring.  On the Imus show this morning, for instance, author Douglas Brinkley thought Texas Governor Rick Perry might make a run for the office, and that he might get Palin’s backing if he does.  Perry just won a third term in Texas and the state went even deeper red.  Instead of testing Perry in the poll, CNN tested for Ron Paul, a Texan who has little chance of winning anything except his Congressional seat in 2012.

Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have their supporters, and given their organizational efforts in 2008 an 2010, have an advantage; for that matter, so does Palin with her ties to the Tea Party and organizing.  But we won’t know whether any of them will be in the race or who will catch fire. What we do know is that Obama is beatable in 2012.

Update: I had the wrong link for the CNN poll; it’s fixed now.

Update II: Still had the wrong link! Sorry about that. Now it’s fixed. I promise.


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and so far, that Republican is nowhere in sight.
And it’s certainly not Huckabee or Romney…or even Chris Christie (but he is a fine fiscal conservative).

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 4:58 PM

I suppose we view the candidates differently. I’m not looking for the purist conservative, except in the area of fiscal responsibility. Therefore, when they emerge and declare this will be the focus for me.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Well since I don’t know Sarah ..Maybe she can enlighten me when and if she runs..:)

Dire Straits on November 4, 2010 at 5:06 PM

As a patriot and a concerned citizen, you owe it to yourself and your fellow countrymen to read up on the people of influence in the news, particularly those near the corridors and levers of power.
Glenn Beck, Rush and HotAir can’t do it all for us.

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Steve Z on November 4, 2010 at 5:04 PM

This is just how it’s going to be, because this will be the main thing whenever she is remotely involved with a topic.

Someone will say something that had to be corrected, and we’re off to the races with 2012.

Get used to it, we have only just begun.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Yessssss yesss yesssss, I take CNNs word on who we should run against Obama. We all know they have the Republicans best interest at heart. Please tell us who MSNBC wants us to run and who has a chance! Better yet bring Media Matters selection, heck add Christine O to the list of possibles.

Africanus on November 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:02 PM

darwin on November 4, 2010 at 4:56 PM

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

I have to go run errands..I have enjoyed the debate..I’m sure we will have more of it in the future..:)

Dire Straits on November 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

I suppose we view the candidates differently. I’m not looking for the purist conservative, except in the area of fiscal responsibility. Therefore, when they emerge and declare this will be the focus for me.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:09 PM

OK, then how it is that I view Sarah Palin differently (than you do) when I see her as a fiscal conservative and when I do not consider either Mitt or Huck to be fiscal conservatives?
Who else is out there that is a proven fiscal conservative (Republican)? Not TPaw.
Not Newt-he’s for Cap and Trade.
Haley Barbour?
Bobby Jindal?
Jan Brewer?
Chris Christie is one, but he swears he’s not running.

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I have to go run errands..I have enjoyed the debate..I’m sure we will have more of it in the future..:)

Dire Straits on November 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Yes, it wasn’t much of a “debate”, because I’m writing paragraphs and you barely get out a line or two at a time, but I hope you enjoy your day, and I hope you get your MTV someday too….:)

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Because you wrote that she would step aside if someone as conservative as she stepped up and then said not even Christie even though he is a strong fiscal conservative.

So if Christie is a good fiscal conservative why would he not be as strong as Palin if that’s your measure. And I do agree with you on Romney and Huck.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM

I

have to go run errands..I have enjoyed the debate..I’m sure we will have more of it in the future..:)

Dire Straits on November 4, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Have a good evening.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:20 PM

So if Christie is a good fiscal conservative why would he not be as strong as Palin if that’s your measure. And I do agree with you on Romney and Huck.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Christie is questionable on some other things, and it is my belief that all of the coalition needs to be unified and motivated, so you can’t sacrifice pro-life or 2nd amendment issues to get a fiscal con.
You need the whole enchilada to unite the Reagan Coalition once again.

Rudy had the same problem. What works for Republicans in Manhattan and New Jersey isn’t going to fly so well in the Deep South, the Midwest or the Southwest.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM

So if Christie is a good fiscal conservative why would he not be as strong as Palin if that’s your measure. And I do agree with you on Romney and Huck.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM

I don’t know how Sarah Palin feels about Christie, but I hear he’s quite squishy on important conservative issues like the 2nd Amendment.
She is as worried about the future of our country as the rest of us: if she feels that the person who wins the GOP nomination will do a better job than Obama (if she’s not the nominee), I have no doubt she will get behind them 110%.
We could do a lot worse than Christie, but I’m holding out for Sarah until that’s no longer possible.
I need for our candidate to be as conservative as she is on all 3 fronts: fiscal conservatism, social conservatism and a defense hawk.
(Conservatism is a 3-legged stool as Rush frequently points out and we need all 3 legs to be accounted for in these dark days.)

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM

I don’t think it will happen again anytime soon. The country is way too divided and wedge issues such as abortion rights will be debated long after we are dead and gone.

Obama’s gross errors have all been fiscally-related. When it’s time to re-elect, I think the focus will be on the candidate who can provide the most stable plan for the economy to undo the damage. The woes of the economy are too deep which will probably put some issues on the backburner for a lot of voters all over this country.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Jenfidel on November 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM

I did see that while the Palins were on the East Coast during all her DC and NY Fox News appearances, they both sat in the owner’s box at the last Jets home game with Gov Christie right next to them all night.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:34 PM

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:34 PM

I agree that the focus will be on economic issues, you make a huge mistake if you neglect other parts of the conservative base.

The religious right/pro-life movement do a lot of the ground work for conservatives, and we need them turning out in large numbers too.

Same with the NRA. They are a huge powerful organization with deep national reach.

The whole movement needs to be united, but the main issue will be fiscal. A fiscal hawk, defense hawk, 2nd amendment hawk, pro-lifer with something of a libertarian streak and great street cred with the Tea Party movement sounds like the perfect mix. I wonder who that might be, with a good dose of charisma, telegenic appeal and excitement?

You get one guess.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM

You get one guess.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Newt Gingrich? but he sat on that damn couch :)

Good point about the pro-life movement doing a lot of groundwork. It would be nice to see all groups doing what they do best to unseat His Highness. It’s all I want.

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:46 PM

sherry on November 4, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Me too. That is why these sore loser RINOs are infuriating me so much. They throw a fit and play spoiler when they don’t get their way, but when they do, we are supposed to play nice and do what we are told.

After this cycle, I think those days are over.

Brian1972 on November 4, 2010 at 5:49 PM

And so begins the leftist media’s attempt to force a moderate, big gov type Republican onto us as a nominee. Romney might be electable, but he is uninspiring. Huckabee would be a disaster as a candidate IMHO. It’s way too soon for any poll like this to have any validity. Recall how it was Rudy that was a “lock” to be our nominee ’08 around this time before the primaries and look who we ended up with.

JimP on November 4, 2010 at 6:11 PM

Whomever we put up in 2012 is toast if we continue to let our tax dollars pay for institutional cheating by groups like ACORN and their ilk, vote rigging by the unions and the Secretary of State Project that Soros has been funding.

We would have to win with 10% more of the vote just to take care of the margin of fraud.

It certainly won’t be pretty.

jaimo on November 4, 2010 at 6:19 PM

I always think of that Time magazine article from March 31, 1980:

And since G.O.P. Front Runner Ronald Reagan relies upon a base of support that is on the far right wing of the Republican Party, some experts have long declared that if he wins the nomination, the G.O.P. would simply be repeating the suicidal Goldwater campaign. Ex-President Gerald Ford left no doubt about his views when he warned last month: “A very conservative Republican cannot win in a national election.” …

National opinion polls continue to show Carter leading Reagan by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Ford would run better against the President. This suggests that Reagan is not the strongest G.O.P. choice for the November election and that he clearly faces an uphill battle. Nonetheless, few political observers now write off Reagan’s chances, and certainly not Jimmy Carter’s chief election strategists.

ddrintn on November 4, 2010 at 6:37 PM

ddrintn on November 4, 2010 at 6:37 PM

There was only one Ronald Reagan. There is only one Sarah Palin. Remember that they are not the same person, nor are they in the same worlds. Reagan did not have to deal with the media behemoth we suffer beneath today.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM

There was only one Ronald Reagan. There is only one Sarah Palin. Remember that they are not the same person, nor are they in the same worlds. Reagan did not have to deal with the media behemoth we suffer beneath today.

MadisonConservative on November 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM

True, but the parallels are striking. Plus that media behemoth was far more one-sided in Reagan’s day than it is today. I’m still amazed thinking that Reagan was able to win two landslides with no Fox News, no Rush Limbaugh, no Web. But it’s true too that we were still in the middle of the Cold War then.

ddrintn on November 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Haven’t yet read the other posts, but 2 things here:

1) Mitt & Huck? Are we really gonna let the MFM pick our candidates again?

2) Obeyme beats Sarah 50-44. Really. He’s a sitting f’ing president. She has been the target of every sh!tstorm the MFM could sling, real or imagined sh!t. The media’s vaunted “Registered Voters” polls ALWAYS skew left. And the POSTUS can only lead her by 6?

3) OK, I can’t count. But if the best chimpy* can do is lead a “disgraced” former governor who “quit halfway through her term” by 6, he’s gonna be that 1-term prez he was talking about earlier this year…

* I believe that “chimpy” is a term of respect and endearment for the president. As they desire, I am taking my cues from the libtards.

RightThinker on November 4, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Yes, it’s way too soon. Goodness, but this is silly for CNN to waste money this way.

AnninCA on November 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM

but this is silly for CNN to waste money this way.

I’d say, that sums up most of the expense they go to in order to broadcast at all…

And why are we letting the Left pick our candidate? Notice they choose the two guys who are into leading from behind? Unlike Gov. Palin who is not afraid to take it to a sitting president and he just can’t help but respond to.

Hmm…

Sharr on November 4, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Might we be more content if we let the right pick unelectable candidates like O’Donnell, Angle, Paladino, Hoffman?

bayview on November 4, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Might we be more content if we let the right pick unelectable candidates like O’Donnell, Angle, Paladino, Hoffman?

bayview on November 4, 2010 at 8:19 PM

What? You don’t remember that McCain was the most electable one we could’ve put out there in 2008? Face it, the moderates have a lousy record.

ddrintn on November 4, 2010 at 8:37 PM

As I have ALWAYS said, CNN is in the tank for liberals so they sing the praises of any conservative that is beatable by Obamadinijad. Palin is the one they fear…THEY FEAR HER!, get it?

royzer on November 4, 2010 at 9:09 PM

But as much as we love Scott Brown, HCR passed. Now, how much good did breaking the Filibuster-proof Majority do us? Or the country?

Especially when the issue was decided in the Senate. Or as Obama said afterwards, “I don’t see what Republicans are upset about. I patterned Health Care Reform after the reform bill Mitt Romney passed in Massachussetts.

victor82 on November 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Ok now we’re getting somewhere.

True the House did something rare and passed the unaltered Senate bill. Wouldn’t you agree that Democrats had to stop their insane rampage afterwards though?

As for Obama, can’t we agree that he was trying to make a potential rival look bad? That’s fundamental politics. Romney has said he wouldn’t apply it nationally. In Federalism, states are laboratories where we get to choose solutions. The Democrats messed with Romney’s plan. The mistake was/is to let Democrats control anything. America made that collective mistake of letting Dems win, and it appears at least once in a while we will continue to do so. If our conservative solutions get corrupted by Democrats, will we blame the Republican President for allowing Democrats to be elected after he’s out of office?

scotash on November 5, 2010 at 3:05 AM

As for Obama, can’t we agree that he was trying to make a potential rival look bad?
scotash on November 5, 2010 at 3:05 AM

It came off more to me as “Why are you complaining, Republicans? This was modeled after something one of your guys did.”

Also…Obama doesn’t see Obamacare as a negative. Therefore, he wouldn’t use what he sees as a positive as a weapon to tear down a supposed political rival.

powerpro on November 5, 2010 at 3:54 AM

There are only two numbers that are important for 2012:

60 and 38

In the midterms the GOP got 60% of the WHITE vote and the Dems 38%. Duplicate that in 2012 and Obama will be defeated. It’s as simple as that.

So the only question that needs to be asked: “Who gives the GOP the best chance to garner 60% of the WHITE vote in 2012 and to maximize WHITE turnout especially among conservatives?

I think the answer is obvious.

Who do you think was more responsible for the huge win on Tuesday? Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin. Again the answer is obvious. QED

technopeasant on November 5, 2010 at 4:12 AM

By the way here are some stats from midterm exit polls:

1)Besides garnering 60% of the WHITE vote, the GOP got 58% of WHITE WOMEN while the Dems only got 40%.

2)And for the first time in recorded history the GOP got more votes from women in House races than the Dems (49-48).

3) The GOP got 55% of the INDEPENDENT vote as opposed to 40% for the Dems.

4) And 41% of voters were CONSERVATIVES up from 32% in 2006.

Now do you think Palin might have had something to do with these numbers because of her “mama grizzly” campaign and her Reagan conservative message?

technopeasant on November 5, 2010 at 4:21 AM

Jeez, Ed, your anti-Palin bias is warping your view of reality again. C’mon, admit it: you get tingles up your leg thinking about Romney as President, don’t you?

This isn’t the Hot Air I used to know….

Venusian Visitor on November 5, 2010 at 9:06 AM

Way to soon to be counting your chickens in 2012. 2008 the Dems thought they were invinsible 2000-2002 Republicans thouht the same.

Hold your Rep. accountable and if they do the right things work to get them re-elected if they don’t get them out.

Watch what the RINO’s do. Some of them may wake up, if they do keep them.

jpmn on November 5, 2010 at 9:08 PM

Looks to me like AOL is already playing “lets get the strongest two potential Republican candidates in 2012.”

Anyone who has an AOL account knows how decidedly left-leaning they are, even given how light-weight their political coverage is.

But the photo montage they posted earlier today of Huckabee, Romney, Palin and Obama is a new low.

It is just a blatant shot aimed at Huckabee and Romney. The photos of Palin and Obama are actually both good shots.

Who can seriously doubt that they are already pulling for Palin to get the nomination, given the results of this latest CNN poll? They (AOL) wrote all about the poll, incidentally.

Of course, if poll results turn around for Palin at any time during the nomination period, they’ll immediately begin turning their heavy guns on her . . . or anyone else who looks good vis-a-vis a political contest with Obama.

Trochilus on November 6, 2010 at 2:22 PM

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