Recent polling shows President Obama attracting between 39% and 46% of the vote against a variety of potential Republican challengers. Despite those relatively low levels of support, the president has never trailed a Republican by more than three percentage points and has enjoyed large double-digit leads in some match-ups.
But always there are a decent number of voters who say they prefer a third option or are undecided. Currently, among those who are undecided, just 34% approve of the way the president has handled his job, while 64% disapprove. Among those who prefer a third option rather than Obama or a particular GOP candidate, the president’s numbers are even weaker: 13% approve, and 87% disapprove.
Put it all together, and the president earns approval from just 22% of those who currently are uncommitted to either a Republican candidate or Obama. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of this group disapprove. These figures include three percent (3%) who Strongly Approve of the president’s performance and 49% who Strongly Disapprove.
These figures are derived from surveys of 3,000 Likely Voters conducted from September 10 to September 15, 2011. One-third of the respondents were offered a choice between Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry; one-third had a choice between Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and the remainder had a choice between Obama and Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann. A total of 539 respondents did not commit to supporting either the Republican nominee or the president.
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