Obama Virtually Tied With Generic Republican Candidate In 2012: POLL

04/13/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

With nearly three years to go before the 2012 presidential election, President Obama's hold on the White House appears to be in jeopardy, according to the results of a Gallup Poll released Wednesday.

Registered voters nationwide favor Obama by a slim margin -- 44 percent to 42 percent -- over a generic Republican candidate. That gap is within the poll's 4 percentage point margin of error. Three percent said they would vote for a different candidate, and 11 percent had no opinion.

Among all adults, Obama leads a generic Republican by just one point, according to the Gallup survey.

WIth no obvious Republican frontrunner and increasing speculation about whether Sarah Palin is preparing for a presidential bid in 2012, the poll also provides a snapshot of which candidates Republican voters would prefer as their party's nominee. Topping the list is former Massachusetts governor and one-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

According to a sample of 490 Republicans and Republican leaners, Romney leads his fellow GOPers with 14 percent support. Sarah Palin comes in second with 11 percent. Perhaps more surprisingly, recently-sworn-in Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown received 4 percent, ahead of former presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Fred Thompson as well as Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is often mentioned as a leading 2012 candidate.

In all, 36 percent of Republicans surveyed said they had no opinion about which candidate they want to be their party's nominee in 2012.

Here's a full breakdown of the Republican candidate results:

Mitt Romney: 14%

Sarah Palin: 11%

John McCain: 7%

Scott Brown: 7%

Mike Huckabee: 3%

Newt Gingrich: 3%

Ron Paul: 2%

Tim Pawlenty: 1%

Bob McDonnell: 1%

Fred Thompson: 1%

Bobby Jindal: 1%

Other: 10%

None (vol.): 6 %

No opinion: 36 %

The Gallup Poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,025 adults across the country between February 1 and 3, 2010 and has a 4 percentage point margin of error. The ranking of GOP candidates was based on a sample of 490 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and had a 5 percentage point margin of error.

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