The PJ Tatler

Whoa: Rasmussen Says Romney Would Beat Obama By Six Points

It’s one poll, not something to hang an entire worldview on, but still. Whoa.

Mitt Romney has now jumped to his biggest lead ever over President Obama in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. It’s also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over the incumbent in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.The latest national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the former Massachusetts governor, while 39% prefer the president. Ten percent (10%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  A week ago, Romney trailed Obama 44% to 41%.  The week before that, he held a slight 43% to 42% edge over the president. The two candidates have been essentially tied in regular surveys since January, but Romney remains the only GOP hopeful to lead Obama in more than one survey.

This couldn’t come at a better time for Romney, as it comes on the heels of Obama’s latest “comeback” and when two of his  rival campaigns are squabbling over the political corpse of a turncoat in Iowa. Voters who actually answer pollsters seem to be giving Flavor of the Week to Rick Santorum, a candidate with little money and no organization, and therefore a weak prospect to survive to Super Tuesday regardless of which way Iowans vote. Next week’s vote will winnow the field, some, the question is by how many. It seems assured at this point that Romney gets one of the four or five tickets out of the first caucus. A shrunken field plus this poll result point to inevitability, which up to now has been his strongest argument. And the next stop is his back yard, New Hampshire, where he leads by double digits and his nearest rival, Newt Gingrich, is probably fading already.

More grist for the mill: Another poll reveals that Americans see President Obama as the farthest candidate from them ideologically, in either party. All of the Republican candidates beat him on this score.

A provocative new poll out this morning indicates that Barack Obama has a whole lot more convincing to do for Americans to see him as the centrist kind of candidate they historically prefer electing to the White House.

On the flip side, the new national Gallup survey finds many Americans already see Republican Mitt Romney as a political moderate. This won’t do him any good in the upcoming GOP nominating contests but would stand him in excellent stead if he makes it to the podium in Tampa at next August’s national convention to start the general election campaign.

It’s a bit incoherent in that the poll respondents see Romney, Huntsman and Ron Paul (?) as closest to them ideologically. That tells me that many don’t know what Ron Paul’s actual ideology, at least on foreign policy, really is. He’s out there with Obama and Jeremiah Wright and Dennis Kucinich on that stuff. But overall, the poll result is yet another help to Romney.