With the 2012 presidential election just a little over a year away, the latest MTSU Poll released today indicates President Obama faces an uphill battle in the Volunteer State.
Tennesseans prefer any of the three current presumptive Republican frontrunners to President Obama in next year’s presidential election.
In hypothetical head-to-heads, Mitt Romney leads Obama 44 percent to 29 percent, Rick Perry leads Obama 41 percent to 28 percent, and Herman Cain leads Obama 39 percent to 28 percent.
In all three cases, the Republicans’ leads on Obama are outside the poll’s margin of error, meaning that significantly more Tennesseans prefer the respective Republican challengers.
Depending on the question, between 14 and 16 percent of Tennesseans volunteered that they would vote for neither candidate, and between 14 and 19 percent say they don’t know how they would vote if the election were held today or refused to answer.
The Republicans’ leads are slightly greater among likely voters, with 48 percent saying they would vote for Romney over 30 percent for Obama, 45 percent saying they would vote for Perry over 30 percent for Obama, and 44 percent saying they would vote for Cain over 30 percent for Obama.
Between 11 and 15 percent of likely voters volunteered that they would vote for neither Obama nor the Republican candidate in the question, and between 11 and 14 percent said that they didn’t know whom they would vote for or refused to answer, depending on the question.
Thus, at this point Obama’s campaign faces an uphill struggle against any seemingly plausible Republican challenger if the president is to win the state of Tennessee in 2012, which he lost to John McCain 57 percent to 42 percent in 2008.