44 percent of all Americans said they would vote to reelect the president in two and a half years, less than the slight majority who said they would prefer to elect someone else.
Obama faces a 44-52 deficit among both all Americans and registered voters, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Tuesday. Four percent had no opinion.
Still, the 2012 election is still a long way's away, with this fall's midterm elections looming large. Republicans are hoping to make inroads into Congress, while Democrats are hoping to hold onto gains won in the 2006 and 2008 cycles.
Respondents to CNN were split at 46 percent as to whether they preferred a generic Republican or Democratic candidate in this fall's elections.
At least one retiring lawmaker is confident Obama will sail to reelection, with Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) predicting Monday the president would win "overwhelmingly" in 2012.
The CNN poll, conducted Feb. 12-15, has a three percent margin of error.