Generic Republican Candidate 46%, Obama 42%

June 30, 2011

Rasmussen Reports

A generic Republican candidate now holds a four-point lead over President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup.  It’s the fifth week in a row that the GOP candidate has been ahead and the widest gap between the candidates to date.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds a generic Republican candidate earns support from 46% of Likely U.S. Voters, while the president picks up 42% of the vote.  Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and nine percent (9%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Last week, the Republican held a 45% to 43% advantage. In weekly surveys since the beginning of May, support for Obama has ranged from 42% to 45%, while the Republican has earned 43% to 46% of the vote. Rasmussen Reports will provide new data on this generic matchup each week until the field of prospective Republican nominees narrows to a few serious contenders.

Republicans also hold a seven-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, June 26. Republicans have led on this ballot every week since June 2009.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted on June 20-26, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney continues to lead the race for the Republican nomination, but Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has surged into second place following the June 13 GOP debate.

In every matchup tested so far this year against named GOP challengers, the president’s support has stayed between 42% and 49%. An incumbent who earns support below 50% is generally considered politically vulnerable. The president’s total job approval ratings are a good indicator of what percentage of the vote he may earn in the 2012 presidential race. Aside from a brief bounce in support following the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama’s approval ratings have hovered in the high 40s for the past 18 months.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of GOP voters support a generic candidate from their party, while almost as many Democrats (81%) favor Obama. Voters not affiliated with either political party prefer the Republican 42% to 37%.

Male voters prefer the Republican by 12 points; female voters give a three-point edge to Obama. Voters under the age of 30 favor the incumbent, while middle-aged voters are evenly divided. Voters over 50 support the Republican.

Ninety-five percent (95%) of black voters favor Obama, while 53% of whites support the Republican. Voters of other races are evenly divided.

Conservatives (79%) overwhelmingly support the Republican, while 81% of liberals – and a plurality (49%) of moderates – favor Obama.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the Political Class back the president, but 54% of Mainstream voters like the Republican instead.

Voters are more willing than ever to elect a woman president, and most think there’s a good chance a woman will win the White House in the next 10 years.

Nearly half of U.S. voters give Obama poor marks for his handling of the economy, but he continues to earn higher respect for his performance in the area of national security. Almost as many (44%) give him positive marks on his leadership, though.

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