|By Jesse Merkel|
It’s over. Now it’s time for the main event, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is already in excellent scoring position. Considering that there are still six months until the general election in November, many Democrats are starting to get worried about the presidents reelection chances, including prominent Democratic strategist James Carville.
Where only a few weeks ago the Obama campaign was crowing that it was trouncing Romney in the polls, it's now becoming apparent that the Romney machine is a force to be reckoned with. After a week of a being locked in a statistical dead-heat with the president, Romney this week launched ahead of Obama in several major polls.
Gallup shows Romney beating Obama by 7 points, well outside the margin of error. That same poll showed that as many as 71% held a dismal view of the economy; 58% also believed that new leadership at the White House could help swing things around.
Rasmussen also has Romney beating Obama 50% - 43%. Romney breaking through the 50% mark for the first time is definitely a good sign for Republicans.
The Obama campaign has tried to counter the Romney surge by claiming that the methodology used in the NYT/CBS poll was fatally flawed and biased. Even Chuck Todd at MSNBC during an interview with deputy Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter didn’t seem to be buying that one, especially considering the source of the poll.
The Obama campaign will have a lot of money and the championship advantage on its side. It will use smear and scorched earth campaign tactics. It will not, however, have the easy ride to victory it had in 2008. Obama has never faced a tough opponent before, and while Romney may not be conservative enough for some on the right, he definitely is not going to be the punching bag that John McCain was be in 2008.
Another thing worth mentioning is that much of these new polls may not fully reflect the backlash from President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage. It is possible that he could lose even more ground in the coming days.
The Obama campaign should be worried. For a supposedly ‘weak’ challenger to be doing this well this far out should be a huge wake up call. This one won’t be easy. According to most polls, a majority of Americans are beginning to think that they’d be much better off under a Romney administration. Romney has a very good chance of dethroning the powerful incumbent.
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