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Republican (Insert any name here) defeats Barack Obama in 2012, new poll reveals

Republicans Newt Gingrich Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney

A late-week piece of polling news for President Obama (and the Clintons) to ponder as the Democratic chief executive heads off on his next vacation this weekend.

A newly published CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding a narrow lead (21% to 18%) over former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the quietly-started-but-nobody-wants-to-admit-it-yet race for the Republican nomination of 2012.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (15%), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (14%), Texas Rep. Ron Paul (10%) and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, about-to-be-former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence (all at 3%) finish up the hypothetical poll field.

You'll note the prominent appearance of the word "former" in that list. That's a sobriquet that once could have been disqualifying for an aspiring president but now actually puts him/her in the clear from the tsunami of anti-incumbent/Washington fervor gushing from the deepwater well of voter emotions these days.

But perhaps more interesting than the individual standings is that disappointed, frustrated, angry registered voters also told pollsters that at this point in time, less than halfway through the term of No. 44, they'd actually be good with anyone labeled Republican for No. 45 against anyone named Barack Obama -- 50% to 45%. (The GOP's 50% is up from 48% in March and Obama's 45% is down from 47% back then.)

Hide that in your overnight bag and smoke it somewhere out of sight.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Left photo: Gingrich. Credit: NBC News; Center: Palin. Credit: Associated Press; Right: Romney. Credit: Associated Press

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Late Breaking News.... Governor Mike Huckabee clinches his (79th) 2012 Presidential Win. His popularity is skyrocketing at a blistering pace across America.

You can check out all 79 wins by googling:
Huckabee Fan Club 2012 Poll

Now this is a truly dumb analysis.
Surely you understand electoral politics better than this.

I guarantee you (and you know full well) that if you insert ANY name of an actual Republican in the question, then Obama comes out ahead.

This is a very common phenomenon, known to anyone who follows politics. And since you follow politics, I can only conclude that you are being dishonest with this post.

Asking about a generic opponent simply elicits a positive or negative response based on the incumbent's standing. Such a question as this shoud track closely with contemporary approval ratings.

If you put an actual name up against Obama, then you would have an actual comparison between two real people - y'know kinda like it is in an election.

And to whatever extent there is a net negative feeling about Obama, it is worse for all the major Republicans. To whatever extent there is a negative feeling about the Democrats, it is worse for the Republicans.

But you know all this. Why do you waste the precious space you are given in such a high-visibility forum as this, to be yet another mindless rightwing hack. Can you not envision making a better contribution to the intellectual life of our nation?

JoeCitizen you are obviously a democrat who is party to distroying this nation

I would vote for a traffic cone sonner than Obama

obama needs to step down and let someone who knows what they are douing take over. Its plain and clear that obama has no idea how to handle these problems.

Lloyd's of London wouldn't sell Obama reelection insurance.

Who can show they have as much capabilit and ability as Romney has of the challenges faced in both the national and global economies. He has an MBA and LAW degree, cum laude, from Harvard.

As a highly successful leader in business, he made money by turning around struggling companies such as Monsanto, Dominos Pizza, Burlington, Corning, and others, saving thousands of jobs.

Later he ran a venture capital firm which provided money to numerous startup companies such as Staples Office Supplies, enabling them to expand and create thousands of more jobs. During the 14 years he headed the company, Bain Capital's average ANNUAL rate of return on investments was 113 percent.

As Governor of MA, he worked to turn around MA’s economy from deficit to surplus, balancing their budget in less than 4 yrs. And never took a salary for those 4 yrs.

When the Salt Lake City Olympics struggled under scandal and financial disaster he went to Salt Lake, took over for a one (1) dollar salary, saved the Olympics and made it profitable, leading to one of the most financially successful Olympics in US history.

What is the biggest problem in America today? It's the economy, stupid!

What a joke! In a game of picking the "lesser evil", this article is foolish.

Assign Palin to the ticket, and fiscal conservatives will run for cover. Assign Newt, and the religious right will run away. Add a Tea Party type, and watch all those that believe in civil liberties to run in fear.

The reality is that the remains of the Republican party is a three-headed monster. Without the constant FoxNews message of "fear/blame" (immigrants, 'socialist' Obama, muslims. etc.) these three factions would split into separate parties.

The Republicans are searching for us to be "outraged", whether it be a mosgue being built or something like the right to burn the flag. That's how they divide the country to stoke people into feeling 'more American' than their own friends, because dividing the county is the only way to motivate opposition voters, and to hold this three-headed monster together as being part of "the greater good".

One group may even favor government-paid abortions for all welfare families, while the other group favors overturning the separation of church and state, but together than can fear. Without these pet-peeves perceptions of the fringe, the Republican party has no foundation. They aren't fiscally conservative and they don't offer solutions, they just offer fear. 'Fear that Mexican who has ruined our economy and taking away all of those office jobs'...and some people actually want to make that a "political position", because emotional thoughts of fear and hate are never rational.

Obama has proven not to be someone to fear. GW Bush would have been doing a jig at the White House after meeting with BP about the $10B relief fund. He would even be talking about what a great company BP was. The fact that Obama asked them to prove they will be just as accountable as they said they would wasn't revolting. It was made revolting by the spin doctors that need people to fear and hate.

We are just now recovering from a 10 year war in Iraq over Al Queda ties that didn't exist, and WMDs that also were fabricated. We re-elected Bush out of fear. At some point, these fear tactics wear off.

Is Obama perfect? Of course not! The only ones that think he should be are the Republicans. The guy has been in office for 18 months and the GOP is asking why the economy isn't fixed yet. He'd have to be a messiah to fix this country that fast.

Looks like senile dementia is getting the better of Andrew Malcolm.

Perhaps that explains why he calls the folderol slapped together with a "Going Rogue" bookjacket a "thoughtful book" by the "electrifying" Palin.

While I myself worked the GOP campaigns for Bush in 2002, '04, and '06, and have a personally autographed 8x10 of him (now in storage), I'm not going to pretend my choice Republicans are geniuses. But while Bush misspoke in speeches, Palin routinely fumbles words that she tweets from the comfort of her living room, far removed from the bright lights, reporters, and microphones that accompanied many Bush gaffes.
I'm pretty sure Bush never confused the words "cackle" with "gaggle," nor did he use "singular" in place of "single" because it sounded more like 'formal collej writing!'

For some unexplainable reason chalked up to perhaps Viagra, Andrew Malcolm exalts a "lady" that fails to recognize that the First Amendment doesn't "cease 2exist" just because others utilized their First Amendment rights to voice displeasure with Dr. Laura. Now, if Andrew at least used the cover of intelligent, electable Republicans as a cover (Thune, Graham, even Rubio!), no one would've caught onto this confused old man. But really, he deserves about as much respect as Palin does, in which a simple "LOLZ @sarahpalinusa and @latimestot" would suffice.

Let's also not forget that Andrew was part of disoriented, fact-phobic Birther movement before the term Birther was even employed this year!

Andrew Malcolm reminds me of that great uncle with Alzheimer's that everyone has, if that uncle were really hateful and still resented colored folks for obstructing octogenarians' desires to roll back the USA to some 1950's heyday.

Why can't Andrew be one of those elderly people that gets WISER with age, like Walter Cronkite or Bob Schieffer or Senator Byrd? I'd even welcome a little Andy Rooney kookiness. Ah, well. In a few years time, Bill O'Reilly will be reading Andrew's eulogy and he'll be but a footnote in the LA Times' wikipedia entry.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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