Hot off the presses, Rasumussen has his newest potential presidential election poll available showing a dead tie between Romney and Obama at 45%. The same poll shows President Obama beating Sarah Palin 48%-42%. Personally, I think this says a lot about the state of the economy more then anything else. Say what you want about Romney, he does have a better track record when it comes to financial matters then just about any major candidate. If the economy continues to be troublesome and we have a period like we did in the late 70s during the Carter administration, I think Romney has an outstanding chance of gaining the nomination and giving Obama a run for his money.
This poll also confirms what others have said for the past few months about Sarah Palin, she has a cap of about 42-43% in a popular race against Obama. In otherwords, many pundits have said they just don’t see how Palin can get over that 43% ceiling given her particular favorable/unfavorables. She is an absolute rock star amongst the base of the party, but does she expand the metaphorical tent at all? I’ve always thought that she could because she might get some support from folks like my mother who are independent type voters that swing back and forth in presidential elections. However, whenever I see polls like this I do have to wonder about that. I know polls can be meaningless and I have been a harsh critic of them myself (although Rass did pretty good last year), but I fear this does not portend well for a Palin run in 2012 at least.
Another thing interesting about this poll is Rassumussen explores what might happen if Palin decided to run as a 3rd party independent candidate:
If Romney secured the GOP nomination and Palin chose to run as an independent candidate, Obama would win the resulting three-way race with 44% of the vote. Romney is the choice of 33% of the voters under that scenario, with Palin a distant third with 16% support. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.
16% support is actually astonishingly high in my opinion. As much as I love the thought of an independent candidate who could capture our imagination and throw the system for a loop, the reality is that this just means Obama gets another 4 years. I’d rather have a squishy RINO then Obama for 4 more years. Time will tell, but it’s going to be fun to see who emerges and how this all shakes out in a couple of years.