Despite facing an electorate that overwhelming believes the country is headed in the wrong direction, President Barack Obama continues to lead all Republican challengers. Obama’s smallest lead, three points, is against a generic Republican challenger, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal
Obama holds a six-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 49 to 43 percent, and he leads beleaguered businessman Herman Cain 53 to 38. Against a generic Republican, Obama leads 45 to 42 percent.
“Is he [Bill] Clinton or [Jimmy] Carter? I don’t think you can answer it right now,” Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, told NBC.
In a hypothetical three-way match-up, the poll found Obama getting 44 percent; Romney, 32 percent; and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, 18 percent. Another three-way face-off the poll suggested, Obama snags 44 percent; Romney, 35 percent; and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 13 percent.
Obama also hold sizable leads against Romney in the areas of compassion and understanding average people, standing up for beliefs, being a good commander in chief and having the knowledge and experience to be president. Romney narrowly leads the president on having good ideas to improve the economy.
In the GOP race for the nomination, the poll shows that Romney holds a one-point lead over Cain, 28 to 27 percent. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 13 percent, and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are tied at 10 percent.
NBC noted that last month, before the sexual harassment charges against Cain surfaced, he led with 27 percent, compared with Romney’s 23 percent and Perry’s 16.
The poll also showed that nearly three-quarters of respondents thought the nation is headed in the wrong direction. Additionally, just 25 percent think the U.S. economy will improve in the next year.
The poll also showed that 76 percent agreed with the statement that “the current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country, and that America needs to reduce the power of the banks and corporations.”
According to NBC, those numbers include 62 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of tea party supporters.
Despite a dismal approval rating stuck at 44 percent, 71 percent say they like the president personally, and 60 percent believe he inherited the current economic condition. The respondents laid most of the blame for the country’s economic ills on Wall Street and former President George W. Bush.
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