Jonathan Chait

Obama vs. Palin

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Time's new poll actually contains some pretty good news for President Obama:

Asked to assign blame for the balky economy, 61% point to the Bush Administration, while 27% fault Obama. The President notched a favorable 31%-26% split between voters who believe his economic policies have helped and those who think they hurt, while nearly 80% believe the economy is stable or heading in the right direction. And despite the economic upheaval and political acrimony that have marked his term thus far, voters aren't pining for Obama's predecessor; they tapped Obama over George W. Bush by a 53%-33% margin. Nor are they convinced that Sarah Palin is up to the challenges of the Oval Office. Obama clobbered Palin, 55%-34%, in a hypothetical 2012 matchup that should have Democrats salivating.

How long Obama can defy the laws of gravity is a real question. Palin might be unpopular, but if the job market hasn't improved much by this time in 2012 she'll be polling a lot higher than 34%.

Update: Of course, PPP has some completely different numbers:

Barack Obama's numbers in our monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race are their worst ever this month. He trails Mitt Romney 46-43, Mike Huckabee 47-45, Newt Gingrich 46-45, and is even tied with Sarah Palin at 46. The only person tested he leads is Jan Brewer, who doesn't have particularly high name recognition on the national level at this point.

I have no idea how to explain such a vast discrepancy.

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