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

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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.)

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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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