This poll was conducted by Synovate eNation on behalf of US News and World Report’s Washington Whispers, which seems…questionable. But it has received a lot of attention from bloggers today, mainly for the finding that Americans fear Obama’s reelection by a 2:1 ratio.
In our New Year’s poll, when asked what news event they fear most about 2012, Americans by a margin of two-to-one said Obama’s reelection. Only 16 percent said they fear the Democrat won’t win a second term, while 33 percent said they fear four more years. …
As we enter the presidential election year of 2012, what potential news event do you fear the most?
President Obama wins reelection–33%
Taxes will increase–31%
Iran will get a nuclear weapon–16%
Obama will lose reelection–16%
North Korea will attack South Korea–4%
To be fair, the question is pretty ambiguous. Does “fear” mean the event that respondents find the most frightening, or does it mean an unwelcome event they’re most worried will actually happen over the next year? Maybe the poll just shows that Obama supporters think he has his reelection in the bag, and aren’t as concerned about the possibility of him losing.
At the same time, the top three fears don’t seem to be a good sign for Obama. Republicans have been campaigning against Obama’s tax increase proposals and his weakness on Iran, so the fact that a whopping 80 percent say those issues are their biggest fears in 2012 doesn’t bode well for him.
This list does have some major omissions, though – no fear of the deficit? No fear of rising unemployment? – so it may not be useful for much more than entertainment value.