Poll: 41% Of Dems Want Primary Opponent For Obama

Rapport Syndication/Newscom

While President Obama has fared well at the state level in early 2012 presidential election polls, a newly released national poll paints a more troublesome picture for the president’s re-election bid.

The McClatchy-Marist survey finds 41% of Democrats are in favor of a challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination. When Democratic-leaning independents are included, 45% support a primary challenge, 46% don’t, and 9% aren’t sure.

A November 15 Quinnipiac poll showed much less support for a contested 2012 primary, with just 27% of Democrats and Democrat leaners saying they wanted a Dem besides Obama to run in 2012, while 64% didn’t.

In the Marist poll, only 36% of respondents indicate that they would “definitely vote for him” in the general election, whereas 48% state they will “definitely vote against him.”Of course, a serious Democratic challenge to Obama in the 2012 primary seems unlikely — and the chances of a successful challenge even less so. But of the Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who favor a challenge for the party’s nomination, 39% say they’d like the primary challenge to come from the left, while 40% want the challenge to come from the right. As the pollster notes:

He’s [Obama] in the murky middle. He’s not energizing his base, nor is he convincing enough independents. Those numbers all reflect a real restlessness about him. This is not a pretty picture for him.

Looking at the Republican presidential primary, the surveys shows Mitt Romney leading the pack with 20% of respondents’ support, while Mike Huckabee (16%), Sarah Palin (13%) and Newt Gingrich (10%) round out the top four. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie follows with 9% and Texas Gov. Rick Perry earns 5%. Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, George Pataki, Tim Pawlenty, and Haley Barbour all fail to get more than 5% of respondents’ support.

One positive finding for President Obama comes out of the poll’s one hypothetical 2012 matchup– in an Obama-Palin-Bloomberg race, the president leads with 45%, versus Palin’s 31% and New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 15%.