It's very early, but a new poll suggests that Pres. Obama starts his 2012 campaign trailing two potential Republican challengers.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll, released Thursday, shows that a day after the country delivered a crushing defeat to his party in the midterm elections, Obama needs to begin rebuilding his political standing if he wants to be successful in 2012.
Obama trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R). He holds leads over former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.).
The president trails Huckabee -- who the White House said in a New York Times story in October would be a formidable challenger -- by the biggest margin, 52 percent to 44 percent. Obama trails Romney by five points -- 50 percent to 45 percent.
Huckabee also leads the GOP field when Republicans were asked who they would like to be the nominee. Huckabee pulled 21 percent in that question to Romney's 20 percent, Palin's 14 percent and Gingrich's 12 percent.
Obama leads Palin by the biggest margin -- 52 percent to 44 percent. The poll also found that nearly have of respondents -- 49 percent -- have an unfavorable view of Palin.
The president led Gingrich narrowly -- 49 percent to 47 percent.
The CNN/Opinion Research poll surveyed 921 registered voters and was conducted Oct. 27 to 30. It had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.