Most notable is that he leads Mitt Romney 46-43. This only the second time in the last 5 months that PPP has found Obama ahead of his top rival. Romney's net favorability has dropped 8 points in the last month from -6 (37/43) to -14 (36/50). Romney is pretty steady with Republicans, but his numbers have gone down with both independents (from 48/34 to 41/40) and with Democrats (from 19/59 to 18/68).
The electability gap between Romney and the rest of the Republican field is becoming a little bit narrower. Newt Gingrich is surging for the general election as well as the primary and has turned what was an 11 point deficit against Obama last month into only a 6 point one now at 49-43. Gingrich's improvement has come across the board- he's doing 7 points better with independents, 4 points better with Democrats, and 4 points better with Republicans.
Herman Cain's favorability numbers have taken a big hit over the last month. He was actually on positive ground in October at 37/36, but has declined now 18 points to 36/53. While Republicans may believe his side of the story on the sexual harrassment allegations, the overall electorate does not. 42% think the accusations against him are 'mostly true' to 35% who think they are 'mostly false.' For all that though Cain's position against Obama is relatively unchanged- he trails 48-41, compared to 48-42 last time around.
There's an incredible gender gap in both Cain and Gingrich's favorability numbers. With men Cain's favorability is only slightly negative at 44/47, but with women it's 27/58. Gingrich is actually on slightly positive ground with men at 47/45, but seen very negatively by women at 32/54. That huge divide is reflected in their numbers against Obama too- with men Cain leads the President by 9 and Gingrich leads him by 7. But with women Obama leads Gingrich by 18 and Cain by 22.
Ron Paul doesn't have much of a chance at the nomination, but he ties Gingrich for 2nd closest to Obama honors, also trailing by 6 points at 47-41. Paul does have one thing to hang his hat on- he is the only one of the Republicans who leads Obama with independents, 48-39. The problem for him is that independents like him better than Republican voters do, which won't take him very far in the nomination fight.
Rick Perry's favorability numbers have hit an amazing new low with only 18% of voters seeing him favorably to 67% with a negative opinion. He's got issues with Republicans (34/49), independents (14/71), and Democrats (7/80) alike. There is not a single Governor or Senator in the country with a 67% disapproval rating. He really might be the most unpopular politician in the country right now. With those favorability numbers it's no surprise that he trails Obama by 10 points at 49-39.
Faring the worst of the Republicans against Obama is Michele Bachmann, who trails 50-39. For general election match ups we include the top 5 finishers in our GOP primary polling- since Bachmann fell to 6th this month she will not be tested against Obama for the next four weeks in our polls.
As for Obama himself he continues to post unimpressive approval numbers with 45% of voters happy with the job he's doing to 51% who disapprove. But against this field of Republican candidates that's good enough to put him in the lead for now.
Full results here