FYI: Bush hit as low as 46% as late as May of 2004. Clinton was at 41% in Jan of 1996, and was only 46% at this point right now in his term. Reagan was at 44% in August 1983. Bush the elder was over 70% in August 1991. Opinion polls at this point have no marking on the eventual outcome.
The other thing to remember is that the Republican nominee still has to get through what looks like a pretty rough, cutthroat primary. The party is pretty splintered, and getting the nomination is going involve quite a bit of compromise and enemy-forming.
Yes, that is all true, but Gallup today has a poll that shows Obama at a new low of 39%. President Bush didn't hit that until well after he'd been re-elected in 2004. Clinton didn't have this massively bad economy to deal with and he won largely because Bob Dole ran a terrible campaign (though, credit where due: Clinton also worked with the Republicans after the 1994 Congressional blow-out to balance the budget). Although it must be reminded that Clinton never won 50% of the vote. Reagan soon had a rapidly recovering economy and could boast one of the best re-election campaigns in modern American history, and carried 49 states.
I do agree that there is little correlation between today's polls and what will happen in 15 months. However, President Obama is continuing to lose support in key states, and on issues like the economy. If the economy remains in poor condition (which many economists seem to think is the case, even suggesting another recession is on the way), it will be incredibly hard for him to win. Even if the economy gets marginally better, it may be too late to change the perception that his leadership has been wanting.
Suggesting that polls mean next to nothing and then Bog listing poll numbers of match-ups with his prospective opponents seems like a strange exercise. But I offer the fact that, while several of those people have no chance (Ron Paul, probably Sarah Palin unless Obama's numbers hit low 30s) or have ruled out a run (Christie, Ryan, Rubio, Thune). Rick Perry just got in the race on Saturday, and his polls will likely get better. Romney has polled well against Obama this early in the game, showing him between 3 and 5 points behind). But elections are won by the electoral college, where President Obama will have a tough time in states like Ohio and Florida. One recent Quinnipiac poll showed him down 49%-46% in New York. Now I certainly don't expect him to lose NY, but even seeing one poll like that should give his supporters some pause. If it doesn't, then they clearly think he's invincible and that shows a lack of objectivity. No clear opponent is yet waging a campaign against him. The generic polling has swung to and fro, as has been discussed here. Often they have showed Obama in a difficult situation when it comes to voters willing to declare they are going to re-elect him.
Yes, I concede that Michele Bachmann probably cannot win in the general election against the president. She has a similar background as the president did when he was running, and people aren't looking for that this time. Plus, she is a woman and, sad to say, many people (even many women) will not consider a woman for that office. Just a fact. She also may be too conservative for a wide swath of the voting public. I'm a Giuliani supporter. I don't agree with him on abortion, but I think he'd be a credible candidate and a good leader. If he runs, I'd like to see him wage a solid campaign and be the compromise choice. I've seen Perry a few times, and I think he's got what it takes to build a decent campaign. I do not like Romney all that much, based on several issues (but especially Romneycare). No candidate is perfect. Obama is not perfect, as we all know. He will be vulnerable, and against a formidable opponent, he can fall. I doubt any of the other prospective challengers can win. I like most of them, though. Herman Cain is impressive, Newt Gingrich usually very smart, etc. But they either have too little experience or have shown a lack of organization in their campaign style.
So, my point in all this is that President Obama can definitely lose this election. The underlying circumstances may be to much to overcome. However, I also have to keep a level head and know that he can also turn things around somehow by November of next year.
“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it,” Donald J. Trump (May, 2004)