The latest polling from Gallup is out, and once more President Barack Obama is trailing the “Republican” on the ballot. Generic Republican has an 8 point lead, 46 to 38, unchanged from September.
In general, Obama shouldn’t be too worried, as he gains quite a bit when an actual Republican contender is swapped in for “generic.” However, the fact that the number is unchanged since last month should be troublesome to the reelection campaign, considering the fact that the primary pool has become much narrower than it was during the last polling. Generic Republican can no longer just be the dream candidate that still might declare — with multiple potential candidates announcing they would not run in the last few weeks, the generic is now a batch of actual contenders, and that makes the lead much more onerous for Obama. Especially when you consider the fact that someone who picks Republican thinking of a more rightwing candidate is less likely to chose Obama if that candidate does not become the nominee than, say, someone thinking of a Mitt Romney.
Gallup also notes that many Independents are undecided at this point. It is a clear group of voters the president would need to woo in order to win a second term.
Photo from Matt Ortega via flickr creative commons