According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, President Obama is leading Mitt Romney 51-45 percent among registered voters. The margin over Newt Gingrich is significantly larger, 54-43 percent. (By the way, Rasmussen’s most recent polling also has Obama winning in a head-to-head over Romney, 47-43.)
Here’s an issue-by-issue breakdown:
Also, Georgia Republicans will be going to the polls March 6, one month from today, to cast their votes in the presidential primary. And unlike previous campaigns, when Georgia was more or less an afterthought, there’s good reason to believe that we’re about to be treated to the full-on blast of GOP presidential politics.
With Virginia off the table because Gingrich failed to qualify there, Georgia will be the largest state contested on Super Tuesday. And Gingrich is telling everyone who will listen that he intends to fight for the nomination all the way to the convention in Tampa in late August, no matter what.
If you’re Mitt Romney, that’s trouble. His inability to finish off even a badly flawed contender such as Gingrich would dog him through late spring and early summer, when he needs to be seen as the unchallenged GOP champion. He needs to kick aside the snarling Gingrich as quickly as possible, and Georgia may prove to be the place to do it.
According to a SurveyUSA poll last week, Gingrich leads Romney by 45-32 percent in Georgia, but that 13-point lead is considerably smaller than reported by previous polls. Romney’s strategists have to see that as a great opportunity.
In Iowa and Florida, they overcame even larger polling deficits by launching a blitz of negative advertising against the former speaker. If they can do the same in Georgia and defeat Gingrich in his former home state, among a conservative electorate in a large Southern state, a Gingrich rationale for continuing the battle becomes much less plausible.
Georgia is Romney’s best chance to end this thing early.
– Jay Bookman