FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Here in the Situation Room, it's never too soon to start thinking about the next big election... So here goes:
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll - taken before the health care vote - shows Americans are split right down the middle on whether Pres. Obama should be re-elected in 2012.
47 percent of registered voters say they would vote for him... while 47 percent say they would back an unnamed Republican.
It's worth pointing out that at the same point in Bill Clinton's first term - he was trailing an unnamed Republican by 15 points... yet he went on to win two years later.
The poll also shows a majority - 54 percent - believe that Mr. Obama will be a one-term president.
What's interesting is a lot of the same gender and generation gaps that we saw at the polls in 2008 still hold true: Pres. Obama has a significant advantage among younger voters and women... yet he loses among men and older voters. And, in what might be keeping some Democrats up at night: Independents currently favor the Republican by 11 points.
Among Democrats - more than three in four say they want the president re-nominated in 2012... Of course, there are some still holding out hope that Hillary Clinton will make another go at it... which would be something to watch.
Meanwhile, on the Republican side - no clear front-runner, with three potential candidates - Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee - all within a few points of each other at the top of the pack.
Here’s my question to you: Have you started thinking about who you will vote for for president in 2012?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Yes, I have, Jack, and the first candidate who wants to end the imbalance of free trade and bring jobs back to the U.S. has my vote.
Ben in Boston writes:
Jack, It's too early to pick a specific person, but I don't like back-room deals, lack of transparency, big spending, financial burdens for our progeny as far as the mind can fathom, mandates, and government control that we have now. So, I will be voting against the kind of change we have seen recently.
David in Oregon writes:
I would like to see Hillary Clinton stay in politics. If you look at the political scenery nowadays, she is the most seasoned and wisest politician in the country.
Mark in Boston writes:
Not at all. But, I'm sure it won't be the Palin-Beck ticket.
Jose in Miami writes:
No. This guy is just getting started. Everyone will be surprised.
Sam in Dallas writes:
Simply "no." However with the passage of the health care bill, President Obama has somewhat changed the face of his presidency. From my perspective as an independent, the Democrats and the president have accomplished one great thing.
Megan in Massachusetts writes:
I'm with Newt all the way. He will put Obama under the table intellectually.
Brian in Boise, Idaho writes:
Jack, I'm voting for Obama no matter what because from what I can see, the only people running for the GOP nod are total idiots: Huckabee denies evolution, Romney flip-flopped on health care reform and his face looks like a cereal box, Gingrich is a corrupt beltway insider and Palin, I'm pretty sure, is the product of a conjugal visit between Charles Manson and Ann Coulter. These are not ideal options.