With the perception growing that he will be the GOP nominee, Romney leads President Obama by five points in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. Today's numbers show Romney at 48%, Obama at 43%. That's Romney's largest lead since December. Matchup results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).
If Santorum is the Republican nominee, he is up by one point over the president, 46% to 45%. This is the second time since polling began in 2011 that Santorum has had a slight lead over Obama. Romney is the only other candidate to lead the president more than one time in the polls. See tracking history for Obama vs. all four Republican candidates.
The other day I laid out my arguments — based on voter turnout so far and the differing capacities of the Republican and Democratic machines — for why Obama will defeat Romney in November. I'll defend my logic against all comers, but of course, predictions are hard, especially about the future.
What dismays me in this is not the risk that I might be the one buying drinks on election day. It's that no matter who wins, Obamacare, with its individual mandate and cementing of a broken employer/insurance cartel, will never go away. Obamacare is by a country mile the worst thing Barack Obama has accomplished. It is an essential change in the relationship of the state to the individual, and thus its poison is more lethal than all the money the administration has wasted, all the laws it has broken, and all the jumping jacks the first lady has pressured tubby schoolchildren into performing. It was passed in a sordid backstairs intrigue on a Saturday night and is hated not only by libertarians but by normal people too. It is the one agenda item where the Obama Administration has beyond any doubt been worse than a John McCain administration would have been.
And now the only option open to an electorate unhappy with Obamacare is to vote for the man who invented it in Massachusetts.