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The President’s Collapsing Support Among Independent Voters

The most recent poll by the Pew Research Center finds that 41 percent of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama re-elected, while 40 percent say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in 2012. In May, Obama held an 11-point lead. This shift is “driven by a steep drop-off in support for Obama among independents,” according to Pew.

Only 31 percent of independent voters want to see Obama reelected, down from 42 percent in May. And where Obama held a seven-point lead among  independent registered voters two months ago, a generic Republican holds an eight-point edge today. And for the first time in his presidency, a majority (54 percent) disapprove of Obama’s performance. (Only 36 percent of independent voters approve of Obama, down from 42 percent last month and 49 percent in late May.)

The president’s collapsing support among both his base and among independents complicates his re-election efforts, because efforts to win back support from one group may further alienate the other. And the debt-ceiling negotiations have probably hurt Obama’s standing with both.

It isn’t easy being David Axelrod these days.