While it is still early, Pres. Obama looks to be facing a challenging fight for re-election in 2012 as a near-majority of registered voters do not believe he deserves to be elected for another term, according a new Quinnipiac poll released Monday.
The Quinnipiac Poll found that 49 percent of respondents said Obama does not deserve to be re-elected while 43 percent say he does.
Obama is suffering particularly among independents -- 51 percent of whom said he doesn't deserve re-election while 35 percent said he does. Exactly 50 percent have a negative opinion of the Democratic Party -- the first time that number has hit the majority mark since April.
The silver lining for Obama is that no Republican challenger has emerged as a world-beater. Among Republicans in the survey, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) was the candidate of choice by 19 percent, compared to 18 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), 17 percent for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and 15 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
The problem for Republicans, however, is that Palin ran worst against Obama in the potential head to head matchups, and holds lousy approval ratings. Palin trailed Obama 48 percent to 40 percent in the poll. But Romney led Obama 45 percent to 44 percent in the survey while Obama was up three on Huckabee, 46 to 43 percent.
The Democratic base, however, is in Obama's corner. Nearly two thirds of Democrats -- 64 percent -- said Obama should be the Democratic nominee in 2012. Only 27 percent said the Democratic Party should select someone else.
"The Democratic base remains squarely behind Pres. Barack Obama when it comes to his re-election, but his weakness among independent voters at this point makes his 2012 election prospects uncertain," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said.
Despite issues some conservatives have with two of the leading contenders - Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee - their numbers are still strong within the Republican party. Only nine percent of Republicans view the former Massachusetts governor unfavorably, while 64 percent view him favorably. Huckabee scores even better, with 69 percent viewing him favorably and nine percent unfavorably.
Palin's unfavorables among Republicans, by contrast, have hit 17 percent -- with 74 percent viewing her favorably.