President Barack Obama holds a two point lead against a generic Republican opponent for reelection in 2012, according to the latest Gallup poll.
Those surveyed by Gallup picked Obama over the Republican 44 to 42 percent with 11 percent of respondents undecided. Independents, a key group won by Obama during the 2008 elections, currently favor the Republican candidate over Obama 45 to 31 percent but 24 percent have no opinion.
The results put Obama in a statistical tie with the generic Republican, because the margin of error is +/- four percent.
Gallup analysts say the poll shows that voters are divided on Obama's reelection, but stressed that matters could change with the election being over two years from now.
"American voters are at this point about equally divided as to whether they would re-elect Obama or the Republican candidate as president," they wrote. "The current data update Obama's re-election prospects, but generally would not hold much predictive value for the actual election outcome more than two years from now."
The poll was taken from Feb. 1-3, just a few days after Obama delivered his State of the Union address in late January.
Here is more from Gallup:
The poll asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents to name, without prompting, whom they would most like to see as the party's 2012 presidential candidate. It is clear at this early date that most Republicans have not developed a preference, with 42% not having an opinion or volunteering that they do not prefer any candidate.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin are most frequently mentioned, by 14% and 11%, respectively. Seven percent mention Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 nominee. Newly elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, former Arkansas Gov. and 2008 candidate Mike Huckabee, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich are each mentioned by at least 3% of Republicans.
"Obama's re-election chances partly hinge on whom the Republicans nominate, because it is not clear whether a 'generic' Republican (as measured in the current data) would perform better or worse than a specific candidate," Gallup analysts wrote.