A new Rasmussen poll has some really bad news for an incumbent President matched up against a potential challenger:
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.
This is Romney’s biggest lead in a Rasmussen head-to-head matchup yet, and it’s mostly because Obama’s numbers have plunged. Romney actually has the same 45% support as the “generic Republican,” a joke that pretty much writes itself. Obama’s pulling 44% against the generic Republican but only 39% against Romney. This represents a fairly significant drop for the President over the last two weeks. He’s still 7 to 15 points ahead of the other Republican contenders.
The Republican candidates haven’t really been hitting Obama very hard over the last two weeks – they’ve been busy beating the crap out of each other in Iowa – and the President himself hasn’t produced a lot of negative headlines during that time. In fact, the last round of media coverage before the holidays assured us he was the big winner in the year-end budget showdown.
Perhaps that spin didn’t really sink in with Rasmussen’s respondents, and people aren’t as ecstatic over their unworkable two-month Social Security tax holiday as the conventional wisdom holds. Or maybe this is a year-end polling slump for the President, as Americans perform their traditional year-end look back and don’t like what they see. That wouldn’t bode well for an incumbent who was desperately hoping everyone would forget about his record.