White House officials have made no secret of plans to position President Obama for re-election in 2012. Here's why: A new Gallup poll finds Americans virtually split over whether Obama should win re-election. According to the poll, 51 percent of the registered voters surveyed say no, 46 percent say yes and 3 percent don't know.
Those numbers haven't changed much in recent months — and, as Gallup notes, they reflect the down-the-middle political split among Americans. After all, Obama won in 2008 with just 53 percent of the vote.
But what should worry Obama advisers is this number: Fifty-three percent of self-described independents say Obama should not win another term in 2012, compared with 43 percent who say he should. That's almost a complete reversal of where independents stood on Obama's election in 2008, when swing-vote moderates were the pivotal voting bloc that helped send Obama to the White House.
The defection of independents from the Obama camp doesn't come as any great surprise. Moderates have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the Democrats for months, with polls showing the group leaning strongly toward the GOP ahead of this November's midterm elections.
The dilemma for Obama is how he can go about winning them back. There are no easy answers, but one thing's for sure: The oil-spill disaster has likely made that road far more difficult than the White House anticipated.
Source: — Holly Bailey is a senior politics writer for Yahoo! News.