Barack Obama vs. Michele Bachmann: No contest in new poll

A Humphrey Institute/MPR poll out this morning finds that President Barack Obama could struggle in Minnesota on Election Day 2012.

Maybe. But Minnesotans sound pretty sure that he's a much better bet in the White House than, say, congresswoman Michele Bachmann or Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

If Obama were to face either of them in a presidential race today, the poll finds he'd crush them by 20 percentage points and 9 percentage points respectively. He'd also beat Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

University of Minnesota professor, and poll director Larry Jacobs told MPR the results show that while Minnesotans may have a middling view of Obama -- 48 percent approve of him, 48 percent disapprove -- they're not ready to hand over the White House to teabag sympathizers.

"The big message here is that it's going to depend who the Republicans put up as a presidential candidate as to how competitive they are in the more moderate states like Minnesota," Jacobs said.

And who do the Republicans want to run for president? A new Gallup poll says Romney, with 19 percent support, and Palin, with 16 percent, lead the field. Pawlenty, in New Hampshire today, comes in sixth, with 3 percent.

Also ahead of T-Paw: Mike H8uckabee, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

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