The more important announcement came on Tuesday when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that he wouldn't be entering the fray, even though plenty of the GOP leaders were pleading for him to do so. Smart man, him. It's late in the season, especially with several states pushing their Republican primaries/caucuses for January, 2012. Furthermore, he's less than two years into his stint as governor, which just isn't much of a track record for voters to evaluate. Even with the help of the national party, Mr. Christie's getting things organized to make a run would have been difficult.
Consequently, as a result of both announcements, the field for this horse race is pretty much set, barring any unforeseen events. Mitt Romney is still at the top. Rick Perry, who for the past two weeks has been portrayed by the media as flaming out, is close behind (if fund raising figures are an index of things), followed by a suddenly surging Herman Cain. Michele Bachmann, whose campaign probably is fizzling, is way back with the rest of the field. The base of the party is not all that thrilled by most of the candidates, but we're entering reality time, and the GOP wants to begin focusing on actually winning the White House.
And that is beginning to look possible, according to this latest poll of American voters.
Forty-six percent would vote for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney while 42% would vote for Obama, the poll found. Romney has been gaining in Quinnipiac’s head-to-head matchup. In July, Obama had a six percentage point advantage; by August, the two were tied.
If Obama’s Republican contender was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Obama would do better, but the race would still be tight, the data shows. Forty-five percent would cast their vote for Obama, compared to 44% for Perry. That’s within the poll’s margin of error -- 2.1 percentage points.
That's certainly not good news for President Obama and for those Democrats who are running in 2012 at the national level. Other polls have shown that the American public is sick to death of both the White House and Congress for their inability to get things done during this time of profound economic dysfunction. The Democrats are going to have a real fight on their hands and they deserve it.
If it didn't affect us all so deeply, I would be happy to sit back and enjoy the race, cheerfully munching on my stock of popcorn. As it is, I'm starting to get anxious. Very anxious.
Labels: Election 2012