President Obama is now trailing the generic “Republican candidate for president” by eight points according to the last poll from Gallup:

2012: Barack Obama vs. Generic Republican -- Based on Registered Voters, 2011 Trend

The good news for Obama is that there is currently no one in the Republican primary field right now who is likely to have as much broad base support a generic Republican. Against any of the actual opponents currently running I suspect Obama would perform slightly better.

The bad news is that the trend is currently moving in the Republican’s favor.

There is still plenty of time for things to turn around dramatically before the 2012 election but it is hard to picture Obama getting momentum without noticeable improvements in the economy. While people really like Obama personally, they overwhelmingly disapprove of his handling of the economy. As long as the economy is the top problem in voters’ minds, it is tough to picture the American people reelecting a president when 56 percent disapprove of his handling of that issue.