**Written by Doug Powers
Sarah Palin obviously isn’t even a declared candidate, but according to a new national poll she’s not only still well within the fray, but gaining speed:
A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that Obama looks increasingly vulnerable in next year’s election, with a majority of voters believing he’ll lose to any Republican, a solid plurality saying they’ll definitely vote against him and most potential Republican challengers gaining on him.Even in potential matchups where he leads, Obama in most cases has lost ground to the Republican.The biggest gain came for Palin, the former Alaska governor who hasn’t yet announced whether she’ll jump into the fast-changing race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.After trailing Obama by more than 20 percentage points in polls all year, the new national survey, taken Sept. 13-14, found Palin trailing the president by just 5 points, 49-44 percent. The key reason: She now leads Obama among independents, a sharp turnaround.
The poll also found a growing “anybody but Obama” trend, with independents saying they definitely plan to vote against the president 53 to 28 percent. But I’m sure that’ll change after Obama says “pass this bill” a couple hundred more times.
Here are some “head to head” comparisons of Republicans vs. Obama:
Obama is neck and neck with Romney, leading by 46-44. Obama had led by 5 points in August, 4 points in June, and 1 point in April. Romney now leads among independents, 44 percent to 40 percent.Obama leads Perry by 50 percent to 41 percent. They split independents 43-43. Obama had led Perry by 19 points in August, as Perry was joining the campaign.Obama leads Bachmann 53 percent to 40 percent. He had led her by 17 points in August, by 12 points in June.Obama leads Palin by 49 percent to 44 percent. He led in August by 21 points, in June by 26 points, and in April by 22 points.
If Palin keeps trending like this, Joe McGinniss might want to rent the place next door to the White House just in case.
Obviously it’s still way too early to make predictions about who the GOP nominee will be based on polls. Take a look at the Real Clear Politics average exactly the same amount of time from the 2008 election as we are now from the 2012 election: