Newt has burned too many bridges to conservatives and lost whatever credibility that he had. His endorsement of DeDe Scozzafava in NY two years ago was a huge slap in the face.
Right now, the polls are just showing name recognition. Until the campaign begins in earnest, and the candidates start presenting themselves to the voters, that's all we will see. These polls are of no value on the Republican side.
On the Democratic side, if an incumbent is running within a few points of generic candidates and/or tepid names, he's in trouble. I predict that Obama will run for a second term, unless he loses a primary fight, which is highly unlikely. Black voters account for about 10% of the electorate, but break 90+% for Democrats, and any Democrat who succeeds in knocking Obama off of the ballot can count on those voters sitting on their hands. That means that about 15-20% of the hard core Democratic base will not turn out, and some might even jump to the Republicans for spite, so don't expect a serious primary challenge. A symbolic challenge from someone like Kucinich is likely, and if he racks up more than 20% of the votes in the primaries, that will be a sign of real weakness in Obama. If the challenger is actually competitive, then Obama is toast.
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