Yes, yes, there's no such thing as a "generic" Republican, and Obama fares better against actual GOP candidates in head-to-head polls, but these numbers are meaningful nonetheless. They're evidence of a solidifying truth: That the American people are ready, if not eager, to vote this president out of office:
U.S. registered voters, by 46% to 38%, continue to say they are more likely to vote for the Republican presidential candidate than for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. The generic Republican led by the same eight-percentage-point margin in September, and also held a lead in July. The August update, conducted just after an agreement to raise the federal debt limit, had Obama with a slight edge.
Check out the margin when leaners are included. Still crazy eights:
I'd wager these figures would be even more grisly for the White House if Gallup had polled likely voters rather than registered ones. As always, the key to this election will be locking down and turning out the base, and winning independents (which can sometimes be confliciting goals). On the latter point, though, indies seem inclined to kiss off the man they overwhelmingly backed in 2008:
On the generic ballot, Republicans overwhelmingly say they will vote for the Republican candidate in 2012. Democrats favor Obama by a wide margin, but they support their party's candidate to a lesser degree than Republicans support theirs. Independents currently favor the Republican candidate by 43% to 30%.
Obama's political team isn't comprised of dolts. They know 2012 is going to be a tough battle, which is why they're feverishly raising funds to mercilessly decimate the eventual GOP nominee. I also suspect we'll see more peevish displays from Obama himself if these polls persist; he's unaccustomed to hearing anything other than congratulatory hosannas.