With President Barack Obama’s job approval rating reaching an all-time low in Tennessee, three frontrunners for the GOP presidential nomination all enjoy double-digit leads in the Volunteer State against the president in hypothetical 2012 head-to-heads.
Figures were released Monday as a part of a new Middle Tennessee State University poll.
Obama’s job approval rating in Tennessee, a decidedly conservative state, has dipped to 30 percent this fall, with his disapproval percentage spiking to 63 percent.
Following Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the president enjoyed a 53 percent job approval rating in Tennessee, and a 27 percent job disapproval.
This spring, Obama’s approval numbers had already lowered to 39 percent. The downward spiral has continued.
“For the first time since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, more than twice as many Tennesseans disapprove of the job he is doing as president than approve," the MTSU poll’s analysis reads.
Among self-identified Democrats in Tennessee, 67 percent approve of Obama’s job as president, while 25 percent disapprove.
But Obama has virtually no support among Republicans, with 89 percent of self-identified Tennessee Republicans disapproving of Obama’s job.
Predictably, Obama’s abysmal job approval ratings in Tennessee have put him in poor position to compete for the state during his 2012 re-election bid. Four years ago, Obama finished with just 42 percent of the vote in Tennessee, compared to 57 percent for Republican candidate John McCain.
According to the poll, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the current Republican favorite to win the party’s nomination, holds a 44 percent to 29 percent lead over Obama in Tennessee in a hypothetical head-to-head.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a 41 percent to 28 percent advantage over the president, while businessman Herman Cain has a 39 percent to 28 percent lead over Obama.
Republican leads are even greater among “likely voters.” In this category, Romney’s backing swells to 48 percent to Obama’s 30 percent; Perry’s support goes to 45 percent to Obama’s 30 percent; and Cain’s support jumps to 44 percent to Obama’s 30 percent.
The poll states the obvious:
“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.”