Poll: Despite Falling Poll Numbers, Obama Would Beat Cheney

It’s not much of an anniversary present, but President Obama could beat Dick Cheney in a 2012 race.

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The news isn't very good on President Obama's first-year anniversary. Instead of being filled with glowing stories of success, newspapers are running tales of failure, the latest being the Democratic candidate's inability to win the Massachusetts Senate seat despite a big effort by the White House.

But as Obama mulls what to do to make sure his own 2012 re-election isn't in jeopardy, pollster John Zogby is giving him a little present. According to a new poll, shown below, Obama would at least best former Vice President Dick Cheney in a head-on-head race.

Of course, Cheney isn't running and has repeatedly said he won't entertain a draft movement. It's not a perfect story for Obama, however. He would take just under a majority, 49 percent, in a Cheney race, and 14 percent said they'd like to vote for a third-party candidate.

Below is the poll:

Zogby Interactive: Obama Would Beat Cheney 49% to 35%

Survey finds 49% approve of President Obama's job performance

UTICA, New York—President Barack Obama would beat Republican Dick Cheney by a sizable margin in a hypothetical presidential match-up—but 35% of likely voters said they would choose the former Vice President over the current President (49%) and another 14% said they would pick someone else, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The Zogby Interactive survey of 1,963 likely voters nationwide found also President Barack Obama's job performance rating has increased slightly to 49% in the latest Zogby Interactive survey up slightly, from 47% at the end of December; 50% disapprove and 1% are not sure. The survey was conducted Jan. 15-18, 2010 and carries a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.

Zogby International President and CEO John Zogby: "Obama is near 50% and has a 14-point lead over Cheney. He holds his own among Democrats, liberals and African-Americans, and even though he shows weaknesses among political independents, he's still OK. There is some slippage in the president's support among 18- to 29-year-olds (52%-28%). It's still a healthy margin, but why are 20% of young voters saying they would choose someone else if the election were held today? Is there major disappointment here?"

This latest survey shows Obama's job approval ratings have increased among Democrats, liberals, and political independents. Support among First Globals, those likely voters age 18-30 has fallen slightly, to 50% from 54% in late December.

Overwhelming majorities of both Republicans (92%) and conservatives (96%) continue to say they disapprove of Obama's job performance. In this latest survey, just 8% of Republicans and 4% of conservatives indicated they somewhat or strongly approve of Obama's performance.

The poll also found that:

Overall, 51% of likely voters now view Obama favorably, compared to 50% in our late December survey. While 34% have a "very favorable" view of Obama, 41% have a "very unfavorable" view of the president.

Some 39% of likely voters say the nation is headed in the right direction, while 54% say it is off on the wrong track.

This interactive survey, conducted by Zogby International Jan. 15-18, 2010, has a sample size of 1,963 likely voters nationwide. A sampling of Zogby International's online panel, which is representative of the adult population of the US, was invited to participate. Slight weights were added to region, party, age, race, religion, gender, education to more accurately reflect the population. The margin of error is +/- 2.3 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.