Obama leads potential 2012 opponents in Iowa
President Barack Obama currently leads all of his main 2012 Republican rivals in Iowa, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling. The closest hypothetical campaign according to the poll would be a match-up between Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, though Obama would still win that race by a 47-43 percent margin.
The other prominent Republicans considering presidential bids fare far worse against Obama. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich trails Obama by a 51-38 percent margin, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finishes behind the incumbent at 47-41 percent.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin performs the worst for Republicans against Obama. She only gains 37 percent support from Iowans compared to 53 percent for Obama in a hypothetical match-up. PPP’s poll only looked at these four top tier Republican candidates, excluding other possible nominees such as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Sen. John Thune (S.D.).
November 2012 is a long way off, but Iowa will likely be one of the handful of swing states that could decide the president’s re-election. Governing Magazine analyzed the electoral landscape and rated Iowa, with its six electoral votes, among its 10 toss-up states. Obama carried Iowa in 2008 with 54 percent of the state’s vote. But after the 2010 census, the states carried by John McCain in 2008 gained further electoral votes, so Obama will likely start his re-election bid with less secure electoral college votes, making states like Iowa that he won in 2008 even more important to hold.