Dramatic shift in Obama’s polling numbers in Iowa

Newly released information from Public Policy Polling shows that Iowans have had a “dramatic shift” toward President Barack Obama, and that he now leads potential opponents by at least nine and up to 21 points in the Hawkeye State.

When PPP polled Iowa in mid-April Barack Obama had negative approval numbers, was tied with Mike Huckabee, and led Mitt Romney by only 4 points in a state that he won by 10 points against John McCain in 2008. Now six weeks later Obama’s fortunes in the state have shifted dramatically, symbolizing the uptick in his political fortunes we’ve seen throughout the country in the month since the killing of Osama bin Laden. He now has positive approval numbers, doesn’t have to worry about Huckabee anymore, and has built his lead over Romney to a 9 point margin similar to what he won the last time around.

49% of Iowans approve of the job Obama’s doing to 45% who disapprove. He is very polarizing along party lines with 84% of Democrats giving him good marks while 86% of Republicans think he’s doing a poor job. That’s par for the course for his Iowa numbers. What has him in better shape is a +14 approval spread with independents (52/38), which represents a 23 point improvement from our April poll when it was -9 at 41/50.

Since 2008 Iowa caucus victor and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has chosen (at least for today) to take a pass on a 2012 run, the potential GOP nominee who currently fares the best in a match-up with Obama is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. That being said, the current nine-point spread between the two men is roughly the same has Obama’s 2008 margin against Sen. John McCain.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty trails Obama by 12 points, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain falls 18 points short, and both former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich trail by about 20 points.

The numbers, obviously, do not predict another victory for Obama in Iowa, according to the pollsters, but they do serve as “another reminder that the weak Republican field is his greatest ally.”

Full results are available from Public Policy Polling.

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