Poll finds Romney, Huckabee the strongest contenders against Obama

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Poll finds Romney, Huckabee the strongest contenders against ObamaA new survey compared leading Republican politicians’ strength as potential challengers to President Obama in the 2012 general election, and found Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee to be leading the pack.

The study conducted by Clarus Research Group (CRS), a nonpartisan research firm in Washington DC, shows the former Massachusetts governor with 38 percent of support among Americans against Obama’s 47 percent, with 15 percent undecided. A total of 38 percent would also vote for former Arkansas governor Huckabee, with 48 percent voting for the incumbent under that scenario.

"The fact that Obama falls below 50 percent against two possible Republican opponents should be troubling for him," says Ron Faucheux, president of CRS.

"It also shows that the electorate is increasingly divided on Obama, with significant partisan polarization," he adds.

CRS also says Obama’s support among swing voters has fallen since November 2008, when exit polls showed he won over John McCain by 52 percent to 44 percent among that group. Today, both Romney and Huckabee beat Obama among independent voters.

The Clarus poll furthermore found Romney is the most popular candidate among Republicans and independents who lean Republican for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, with 30 percent intending to vote for him. Meanwhile, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin can count on 19 percent support, followed by Newt Gingrich at 15 percent and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at a mere 4 percent.

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