By MARK PENN
July 18, 2010

By far, the most alarming numbers this poll presents for President Barack Obama are the reelection figures; against a generic Republican candidate, he loses by 5 points, 37-42. In general, when an incumbent’s reelect numbers fall below 50 percent, it’s a sign of trouble to come — and Obama’s inability to break even 40 percent may be the most telling indicator to come out of these data.

View the full results from Penn Schoen Berland’s poll, the first of six in Politico’s “Power and the People” poll series

Americans like Obama — despite nearly 10 percent unemployment and two ongoing wars, his 49 percent favorable rating remains much stronger than some of the low points hit by Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But what is surprising is the 11-point gulf between his favorable (48 percent) and reelect ratings. This suggests a lot of voters are saying, “I like him personally” but not “I would vote for him again.”

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