Thursday, July 21, 2011

Never a Generic Republican Around When You Need One

A new Rasmussen poll illustrates a small problem for Republicans and some big ones for Barack Obama.

The generic Republican leads Obama by 6%:

Generic Republican47%
Barack Obama41%

Mitt Romney, an actual Republican, leads by only 1%:

Mitt Romney43%
Barack Obama42%

In April, Mitt Romney was trailing Obama by 5%:

Mitt Romney40%
Barack Obama45%

A generic Republican candidate would soundly beat Barack Obama if the 2012 election were held today. However, once you put in the name of an actual Republican, such as Mitt Romney, the race gets a lot closer with Obama beating many of the potential candidates.

Voters seem to like Republicanism more than they like actual Republicans, enough more that it might actually cost Republicans the Presidential election.

Roughly 40-41% seems to be the baseline support for President Obama. He's got the bigger problem. Unless he can attract votes outide his base, he can't win. But the attempt to broaden his appeal may alienate the base and cost him the election.

The good news for Romney is that his support is growing. If the trend continues and he wins the Republican nomination, he could beat Barack Obama by a wide margin.

Here's the real dilemma for Obama. A face off with Romney win or lose would be the best chance to preserve some form of ObamaCare, much as the 2004 faceoff with John Kerry instead of Howard Dean was the best chance for George W. Bush to preserve his war aims in Iraq. But pushing Romney aside to face a Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Herman Cain would be the best but by no means certain chance for Obama to win the election.

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