Gallup poll: Obama in statistical tie against anyone else for 2012 presidency

Jake Turcotte / Staff
Could Gumby win the presidency? According to a new Gallup poll, President Obama is in a statistical tie against any Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election.

Good news and bad news for President Obama. The good news is that he slightly leads all comers in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

The bad news is he slightly leads any Republican candidate who ends up getting the GOP nomination.

Gallup released a new poll today that shows Obama ahead of all competitors by a slim 44 to 42 percent margin. Gallup calls that a statistical tie.

A real green president?

So theoretically, that means if Gumby were to win the Republican nomination, the clay humanoid could be the 45th president of the United States.

And who wouldn't like that?

Nah, it's not that simple. Plenty of variables at play like who the Republican nominee is.

"Obama's re-election chances partly hinge on whom the Republicans nominate, because it is not clear whether a 'generic' Republican (as measured in the current data) would perform better or worse than a specific candidate," writes Galllup pollster Jeffrey Jones.

Early front-runners

Why didn't Gallup insert a specific Republican into the poll? Too early. There's no favorite. Well, except for the 42 percent figure who Gallup said didn't have an opinion or indicate a preference.

Pollsters asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to name who they would like to see get the nomination. Sarah Palin, of course, is mentioned but she wasn't the top vote-getter. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney came in first, with 14 percent mentioning his name. Palin came in at number two. Here's the whole list.

Mitt Romney (14 percent), Sarah Palin (11 percent), John McCain (7 percent), Scott Brown (4 percent), Mike Huckabee (3 percent), Newt Gingrich (3 percent), Ron Paul (2 percent), Tim Pawlenty (1 percent), Bob McDonnell (1 percent), Fred Thompson (1 percent), and Bobby Jindal (1 percent).

"At this point, Romney and Palin can be considered the early front-runners for the GOP nomination, a position that has proven advantageous in most past Republican nomination campaigns," Jones writes.

Circular file

What to do with this poll? Throw it away. Even Gallup acknowledges it holds little value:

"The current data update Obama's re-election prospects, but generally would not hold much predictive value for the actual election outcome more than two years from now," writes Jones.

To see the poll and read the analysis, click here. Fair warning though, they don't mention Gumby.


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