Forty-eight percent of respondents indicate they would rather see Obama re-elected than a Republican elected, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
Meanwhile, 35 percent of those polled say they would prefer a Republican and 16 percent had no opinion.
• Consulting only registered voters, however, 47 percent said they favor Obama and 37 percent prefer a Republican.
In other survey results concerning Republican primary candidates:
• Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee lead the field -- with 21 percent and 20 percent respectively.
• Sarah Palin snagged 13 percent; Newt Gingrich, 11 percent; and Ron Paul, eight percent.
• About one-in-five (21%) Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say they would like to see Mitt Romney win the nomination while about the same percentage (20%) chooses Mike Huckabee;
• 13% back Sarah Palin,
• 11% opt for Newt Gingrich and
• 8% back Ron Paul.
At this early stage in the race, 15% of GOP voters have no preference.
The Pew report opined that Obama is benefitting from the fact that "the GOP has yet to coalesce behind a candidate."
Furthermore, the Pew analysis points to the fact that the race for the Republican nomination has gotten off to a much slower start than the presidential race four years ago.
The Pew Research Center’s news interest surveys have found that the campaign is drawing far less coverage and public interest than the previous presidential campaign at this stage. During the 2008 campaign, there were nomination races in both parties.
By comparison, a Pew survey of registered voters in April 2003 found 48 percent wanted to see George W. Bush re-elected and 35 percent wanted to elect a Democrat. At the time, Bush's approval rating was higher than Obama's is now, and more people said they were satisfied than dissatisfied with the direction of the country.
Conducted March 8-14, the poll targeted 1,525 adults and has a margin of error of three percentage points.
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