Although pundits predict President Obama will face a tough re-election campaign next year against the still-undetermined Republican front runner, a new CBS/Vanity Poll suggests the president would win if he was running against his predecessor, former President George W. Bush.

In a survey of over 1,000 voters, 40 percent said they would vote for Obama in a hypothetical race between him and Bush, while 31 percent said they would reelect W. and a hefty 27 percent said they would reject both. Partisan voters were deeply divided in their answers -- 77 percent of self-identified Democrats said they would vote for Obama, compared to 72 percent of Republicans who would cast their ballot for Bush.

However, the response from Independent voters is indicative of the challenges both Obama and the eventual GOP candidate will face next year. While more Independents (33 percent) said they would choose Obama over Bush (24 percent) almost half -- 42 percent - said they would not vote for either candidate.

The Obama campaign is obviously aware of this. The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama has participated in 54 events in swing states over 42 days this year, surpassing Bush's previous record of 49 events in 34 days in 2003.

The Washington Times Reports that Vice President Joe Biden will be employed to capture votes in the three big battleground states: Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Biden, who was raised in a working-class family in Scranton, Pa. is thought by many to be Obama's greatest asset this election cycle since the president has faced criticism for supposedly being an elitist who cannot connect with the typical American.

Talking to blue-collar voters is perhaps his [Biden's] greatest attribute, said Dan Schnur, a Republican political analyst, told the newspaper. Obama provides the speeches, and Biden provides the blue-collar subtitles.

Swing States Went Blue in 2008

In 2008, Obama triumphed over his opponent U.S. Sen. John McCain in swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

With an inert economy and several highly publicized partisan struggles under his belt, Obama may face more challenges than even Bush, who faced - an ultimately won - a toxic reelection campaign. Gallup reports that Obama most recent approval rating from the week of Nov. 14 to Nov. 20 hovered at 43 percent, almost 10 percentage points lower than Bush during his third year in office in 2003, when 53 percent of Americans approved of his job performance.

An October Gallup poll found that voters say they are more likely to vote for a generic Republican presidential candidate rather than Obama in 2012. The nameless GOP candidate led by an 8 percent margin that month, although Gallup reports similar polls conducted in September and July also found that Obama trailed his Republican opponent.