WHERE OBAMA STANDS – AT 10:55 A.M. ET: Scott Rasmussen has done a sophisticated study of the current state of the electorate. It finds Obama ahead, but vulnerable:
In Democratic-leaning New Jersey, both home state Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are within single digits of President Obama in hypothetical 2012 election match-ups...
...Nationally, the president holds a 43% to 35% lead over the first-term Republican governor among Likely U.S. Voters...
...Among all likely voters nationwide, Obama bests Romney 45% to 40%. In every matchup tested so far this year, the president’s national support has stayed between 42% and 49%.
Yes, Obama is ahead. But he's stagnated in the mid-forties, not the place to be for an incumbent president. Remember, Obama is essentially campaigning every day. The Republicans haven't yet picked their candidate. Rasmussen cautions:
All early polling for the 2012 election should be viewed with caution given the potential for change over the next year-and-a-half. “If the economy improves dramatically over the next year-and-a-half, the president will be virtually impossible to beat,” notes Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “However, if there is a double-dip recession, it will be hard for the Republicans to lose. If the economy shows little substantive change, the race could be very competitive.”
Let me add, however, that the role of the media, which is virtually impossible to predict by polling, will again be a major factor. The news is filtered through the lens of the press, and that filter is pro-Obama. Some pro-Obama outlets can make 10% unemployment look like an economic boom.
It's early. The polls will fluctuate, sometimes wildly. But a president who is only at 45% against Mitt Romney is beatable.
May 29, 2011