Well over half of New Jersey voters say President Obama does not deserve a second term, but Republicans are not thrilled with the potential candidates that have emerged so far according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton poll.
Just 43 percent of those polled said the president should be re-elected next year, down from 48 percent in February. Another 47 percent say the president should not be re-elected, up from 39 percent six months ago.
But while Obama’s numbers show he’s vulnerable, just 3 percent of Republicans say they are very satisfied with their party’s candidates and another 56 percent are somewhat satisfied. An additional 31 percent say they are not satisfied with the Republican contenders.
“The continuing economic climate, coupled with voter frustration at Washington, has created feelings of discontent that are clearly hurting the president’s chances for re-election,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “The dramatic decline in support for Obama comes mostly from independents. Even so, it doesn’t seem Republicans are particularly happy with their options.”
Obama’s support remains strong among Democrats with 80 percent favoring re-election. But among Republicans Obama’s support has dropped to an anemic 7 percent, down from 14 percent in February. Support for Obama has dropped most precipitously among independents with just 1 in 3 saying he deserves a second term, and nearly half saying his time in Washington should be done.
“Despite his best efforts to find middle ground, the president is losing favor with independent voters here,” Redlawsk said. “It seems possible this is a direct repudiation of his approach to the debt crisis and the economy.”
On the GOP side, Republicans and those who lean Republican, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads the pack of contenders at 16 percent, 3 points higher than February followed closely by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Gov. Chris Christie is a distant third at 6 percent, followed by Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman at 5 percent.