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Poll: Obama still leads GOP field

President Obama is far from a safe bet for re-election in 2012, but despite his political troubles, the Democrat still leads the Republican field.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling has Obama ahead of the top six GOP contenders by margins ranging from three to 11 points. The toughest matchup continues to be Obama-Mitt Romney, who trails the president by three points (46 percent to 43 percent) in the PPP poll.

The lead for Obama over Romney is only his second in that head-to-head matchup in the past five months. The change has more to do with Romney than Obama – the former Massachusetts governor saw his net favorability drop in the November poll overall and particularly among independent voters (from a 48 percent/34 percent favorable/unfavorable split in October to a 41 percent/40 percent split in November).

The new frontrunner for the Republican nomination, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has narrowed his general-election gap with Obama significantly in the past month. In October, Gingrich trailed Obama in their head-to-head by 11 points, but the November PPP poll has Gingrich down six points (49 percent to 43 percent).

More on the poll at