Marist: Say, Obama might have a big problem getting re-elected

Marist released more data from its poll this week, the same survey that found a significant slide in Barack Obama’s approval ratings — the survey with a +8 advantage for Democrats in the sample.  In fact, Democrats comprised 35% of the sample, while Republicans only accounted for 27%.  And yet, according to Marist, Obama only has 37% of their respondents committed to a second term for the President (via Newsalert):

President Barack Obama has officially announced that he will seek re-election next year, but he faces an electorate that still needs convincing.  According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, a plurality of registered voters nationwide — 44% — say they definitely plan to vote against Mr. Obama in 2012.  37% report they definitely plan to vote for him, and 18% are unsure.

Despite the president’s transition into campaign mode, little has changed on this question since McClatchy-Marist last asked it in November.  At that time, 48% of voters said they will not support the president in his re-election bid while 36% thought they would.  16%, at the time, were unsure.

Even among Democrats, Obama isn’t a slam-dunk.  He gets 70% of that 35% to commit to his re-election bid, but 12% “definitely” plan to vote against him.  Obama-cons are in short supply as well, as only 3% of Republicans in the survey will vote for the incumbent.  Nearly a majority of independents have made up their mind to oppose Obama, 47%, with only 32% planning on casting a vote for him and 21% undecided.

On other demographics, Obama doesn’t fare much better.  He only holds 66% of self-described liberals, with 19% planning on opposing him.  Moderates split 44/34 in his favor, a weak result, but not nearly as weak as the income demographics.  Obama loses both the under-$50K and over-$50K demos by almost identical splits, 37/45 and 39/45 respectively.  Among age demos, Obama only leads among the youngest bloc (18-30YOs), and that just barely a majority, 51/29.  Perhaps most alarmingly, he’s losing among both men and wome, 37/43 and 38/45 respectively.

Do Republicans benefit from Obama’s woes?  Mitt Romney gets into a statistical dead heat with Obama at 45/46, but so far he’s the only one who does.  Mike Huckabee comes close at 43/48, and both improved significantly since January.  Sarah Palin, on the other hand, not only doesn’t put a dent in Obama’s numbers at 34/56, it’s almost identical to her January result of 30/56.  Donald Trump loses by a similar margin, 38/54.  Bear in mind, though, that the eight-point sample skew towards Democrats plays a big role in the head-to-head numbers, and the movement in this series is what actually matters.  Romney closed twelve points in the gap, and Huckabee closed ten points, since January.

The Republican nominee matters, but the incumbent has big problems no matter who he ends up facing.  Unless Obama can make the economy move in the next year, he is on his way to a single term in office.

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