Romney 53%, Obama 44%? Don’t Get Excited

Matt Drudge is promoting this CNN poll, out today, in which respondents were asked whom they would vote for if the 2012 election were re-run today. Romney beats Obama, when “leaners” are counted, 53% to 44%. And that’s not all: lots of Obama’s numbers are quite poor. In categories like “is a strong and decisive leader,” “generally agrees with you on issues you care about” (43%/56%), and “can manage the government effectively” (42%/57%), Obama is under water.

Nevertheless, the CNN poll actually has more bad news than good for Republicans. First, let’s dispense with the Romney boomlet. Some are now suggesting that he should again be the GOP nominee in 2016. But in 2016 he would be running against Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, and this survey has him losing that matchup by 55%-42%. Hillary, despite her recent stumbles, still scores well in the areas where Obama has now fallen into disrepute. To take just one example, respondents think Hillary can “manage the government effectively” by 55%/44%, despite the awful job she did managing the State Department. And Republicans are falling behind, not pulling ahead, in the generic Congressional ballot, trailing in this survey by 48%/44% among registered voters.

A reasonable conclusion from this CNN poll is that, while voters are giving up on Barack Obama, so far his troubles haven’t rubbed off to any great degree on Hillary Clinton, nor have they elevated Republicans much in the public’s esteem. Republicans will have to do a lot more than watch Barack Obama sink beneath the waves if they are to prevail in either 2014 or 2016.


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