Is Obama Still Formidable in 2012?

According to this new NBC/WSJ poll the president’s approval rating stays the same at 45%. His disapproval rating also stays the same at around 47 to 48&/ Yet after reading Bob Howe’s piece I’m starting to wonder whether or not NBC intentionally uses the 45% number as his official approval rating even though some polls such as Zogby have him dipping in the 30s. Furthermore according to this NBC led poll and NBC political guru Chuck Todd the president not only gain in his support from Independents over this tax deal, but in a hypothetical against nearly all challengers from the Republican Party Obama cleans house with ease. In fact his win percentage suggests that he’s getting stronger as 2012 rolls around, not weaker.

This didn’t sit right with me because it just sounded too good to be true. And well, whenever NBC and MSNBC lead with a poll they conducted you have to dive deeper into the numbers. As recently as last week Obama was leading only three presidential hopefuls (Palin, Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels) by close margins in fact. The only one Obama beats by a pretty good margin is Sarah Palin by 8% (48-40), and even that isn’t such a bad prospect given how supposedly weak and unelectable Palin is.

Against Mitt Romney, at least according to last week’s polls Obama was behind by 3 or 4 points. Now all the sudden this new poll has him beating Obama by 12 points. Come on, really? Now usually pollsters conduct these polls among the candidates loyal base, but this poll was conducted with Independent voters, something doesn’t seem right here. Thus leading me to the conclusion that NBC and MSNBC will start to cite these polls that paint Obama in a relatively positive position for 2012, even though again as recently as last week he was pretty vulnerable against the GOP nominee.

I think the media’s going to try and prop him up for the next two years in order to secure his reelection. Call me crazy, maybe two years ago but given what we know now about the media’s role in his election the first time around, we have to be aware of these concerted efforts to maintain the Obama lore.