Obama Job Approval Edges Up, GOP Contest Remains Fluid
President Barack Obama’s job rating has improved modestly over the past month, although few Americans approve of the way he is handling the economy. In addition, a majority of Americans continue to hold a favorable personal opinion of Obama. This is not the case for his main GOP rivals, whom he mostly bests in test election measures.
Obama Motivates Supporters, Opponents in Early 2012 Matchups
President Obama is running about even in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In the race for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney continues to hold a slim lead, with Rick Perry placing second and Herman Cain moving up to third.
Democrats Not Eager for an Obama Challenger
Just 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would like other Democrats to take on Obama for the nomination, while 59% say they would not.
Obama Loses Ground in 2012 Reelection Bid
The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in May has vanished. In the race to be the Republican who takes on Obama, Mitt Romney still leads, but Rick Perry is getting strong interest from the most engaged Republicans, and Michele Bachmann is the candidate Republicans have heard most about recently.
Republican Candidates Stir Little Enthusiasm
The emerging GOP field draws tepid ratings, and among the well-known candidates only Romney has broad potential appeal (most say there is no chance they would vote for Palin). In a hypothetical matchup, Obama continues to hold a sizable lead against a generic Republican opponent.
Top Reaction to GOP Field — “Unimpressed”
Overall, 44% offer negative words to describe the Republican candidates, 19% use neutral words and just 12% use positive words.
Obama Tests Well at Start of Reelection Run
Nearly half of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 37% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win the 2012 election. As for who that candidate will be, the GOP has yet to coalesce behind a candidate, but Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee lead the pack at this early stage.
Possible Negatives for Candidates: Vote for Bank Bailout, Palin Support
Two factors have emerged as major potential negatives for congressional candidates: TARP and Sarah Palin. Americans are split over whether they are more likely to vote for candidates who supported the health care law.
Democrats Struggle to Avoid Wipeout from Electoral Wave
Less than two years ago, Democrats basked in the glow of an impressive political triumph. Today, they are contemplating the very real prospect of losing their House majority. What happened?
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.