Donald Trump could conceivably fire Obama.
That’s the weak position Obama finds himself in heading into the 2012 election, according to a Newsweek/Daily Beast poll of likely voters released today that shows the President tied or barely ahead of his potential GOP challengers to his reelection bid.
Obama and Mike Huckabee are tied at 46% apiece in the poll, while Mitt Romney trailed Obama by a slim two-point margin, 49% to 47%. And yes, eccentric real estate tycoon and reality TV host Donald Trump also trailed Obama by just two points, 43% to 41%. That’s well within the poll’s 3.5% margin of error.
Obama did, however, hold a decent edge on Sarah Palin, leading her 51 to 40%.
Trump has been hinting at a presidential bid for a while now — and he made it seem all the more likely when he delivered a speech at CPAC this month.
As a fresh addition to surveys of the 2012 race, there’s little comparative data on how Trump would actually do if he jumped in the race. A PPP poll conducted earlier this month showed Trump faring much worse in a hypothetical contest with Obama than the Newseek survey, with Trump down 48% to 34%. In that same poll, over half of all Americans said they viewed Trump unfavorably.
Trump may not even get a shot at taking on the President in a general election. The Newsweek poll showed him running a distant fourth place among a slate of Republican candidates for the GOP primary. Romney led in that contest at 19%, followed closely by Huckabee at 18%.
The tight general election results come despite Obama posting a strong approval rating in the poll. Half of all respondents said they approved of Obama’s job performance, while 44% said they disapproved.
The Newsweek/Daily Beast poll was conducted February 12-15 among 918 likely voters nationwide.