Poll: Obama Ekes Out 71-Point Lead Aginst Bernie Sanders in Theoretical Primary Challenge

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 17 2010 12:55 PM

Poll: Obama Ekes Out 71-Point Lead Aginst Bernie Sanders in Theoretical Primary Challenge

Is it a slow enough news day to speculate about primary challenges to Barack Obama? No, but Magellan Strategies has polled the question in New Hampshire, so we have to speculate about it anyway. And the gist: Obama currently faces no serious primary threat.

Magellan, commissioned by NHJournal.com, polled 1002 registered voters, including 661 Democrats and 341 independents, who can vote in the either party's primary. (Minor caveat: Because all of the action in 2012 will be on the Republican side, it's likely that fewer independents will pull a Democratic ballot than they did in the 2008 primary.) Obama's favorable rating among Democrats is 91.2 percent; among all of the voters likely to vote in the Democratic primary, he has a 77.3 percent approval rating. So, no surprise that the trial heats go like this:

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Barack Obama - 59 percent
Hillary Clinton - 28 percent

Barack Obama - 78 percent
Howard Dean - 10 percent

Barack Obama - 79 percent
Bernie Sanders - 8 percent

This comes after a brutal election for state Democrats, who lose both House seats and the state legislature, and after a tax deal that these voters mildly oppose.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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