DES MOINES, Iowa — President Obama leads Michele Bachmann 51-33 in a hypothetical 2012 presidential matchup, in the first national head-to-head poll involving the Minnesota congresswoman.
The poll, released Thursday morning, comes a day before Bachmann is scheduled to speak at an Iowans for Tax Relief event here, and less than a month after news of her possible interest in a presidential run leaked.
The poll of 642 registered voters was taken from Jan. 14-16 by Public Policy Polling, which was rated one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2010 election by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com and the New York Times.
While she’s certainly one of the most prominent members of the House, and a leading voice in the Tea Party, Bachmann remains a national unknown, with just 53 percent saying they know enough about her to have an opinion about her. Nationally, 22 percent favor her, while 31 percent don’t.
“There are just as many Americans with an opinion about Michele Bachmann as [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell.,” wrote PPP’s Tom Jensen on Twitter in advance of the release.
Obama led all candidates in the PPP poll, besting Mitt Romney 48-43, Mike Huckabee 49-44, Newt Gingrich 51-49 and Sarah Palin 55-38.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has been laying the groundwork for a presidential run for months, was not included in the poll. Bachmann was included as this month’s “bonus Republican,” Jensen said, chosen for inclusion based on a vote on PPP’s website.
Other tidbits on Bachmann from the survey:
- Bachmann has a wide lead (64-16) among conservatives, while Obama dominates (90-3) among liberals. Self-described “moderate” voters break for the president 66-16.
- Among white voters only, Bachmann trails Obama by just three points, 42-39. The gap widens to 51-33 because of the president’s massive leads among racial minority voters.
- Bachmann does better with women who know her, but she’s better known among men.
- Bachmann is best liked by those aged 30-45, and by seniors. Her favorability ratings are even with the 30-45s, and she scores 25 favorable/28 unfavorable with seniors.
- There’s a ton of room to grow for Bachmann, as a large number of registered voters, including a majority of women and most of those 45 and younger, don’t know or have an opinion of her one way or the other.