According to the latest Pew Research Center poll, President Obama has gone from a double-digit lead with independents, when matched up with a generic Republican challenger, down to a statistical tie of a one point lead.
Report from the Christian Science Monitor:
President Obama’s appeal among independent voters appears to be slipping, and as a result, he has lost his double-digit lead in polls that measure whether the president or an unnamed Republican is favored to win the White House in 2012.
A new Pew Research Center poll among registered voters, conducted July 20-24, found that 41 percent favor Mr. Obama in next year’s presidential election, while 40 percent favor a Republican candidate. In May, Obama held an 11-point lead over a generic Republican candidate.
“This shift is driven by a steep drop-off in support for Obama among independent voters,” Pew Research president Andrew Kohut said in a statement. In the July Pew poll, 31 percent of independent voters favor Obama’s reelection, down from 42 percent in May and 40 percent in March.
For the 2012 election, Obama held a seven-point lead among independents in May. Now, the generic Republican leads among independents by eight points.
The numbers, while unwelcome news for the White House, probably do not come as a surprise. The Real Clear Politics average of major polls currently has the generic Republican candidate favored over Obama, 44.7 percent to 41 percent. One notable exception is the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which has the president three points ahead – 42 to 39 percent – in a test race against an unnamed Republican.
Clearly the debt ceiling debate is taking a massive toll on the President’s numbers and we’re now seeing that reflected in multiple polls over the past month. It also appears that while voters are unhappy with both Republican and Democrat behavior on the issue, that dislike hasn’t spilled over to the 2012 Republican challengers who continue to rise in popularity when match against the President.