The poll contained some worrying news for Romney: 62 percent of those surveyed say they will definitely not vote for the former Massachusetts governor in the general election, compared with just 13 percent who say they will definitely support him -- the worst showing of any of the major candidates.
Even stepping away from the specific candidates, there seems to have been a bit of a shift in national perceptions about the two main political parties, but Democrats still seem to have some reason to cheer.
The Republican Party seems to have made a bit of a comeback from a June poll that found it was viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of the country, though more Americans still say they have an unfavorable than a favorable view of the party, 48 to 41 percent. The numbers for the Democratic Party are 55 percent favorable and 34 percent unfavorable, also a slight improvement over their June showing, 51 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable.
Who were the big winners in this poll among the candidates? Obama and Clinton still seem to be battling to a standstill on the Democratic side, but John McCain was clearly the winner for the GOP. The poll results continue to indicate that, in a hypothetical general election, both Obama and Clinton beat most of the viable Republican candidates (Romney, Giuliani and Huckabee) by double digit margins. But what about Big Mac?
The Republican candidate who gives Clinton and Obama the closest race in the new poll is Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is essentially tied with both: He draws the support of 48 percent of those surveyed to Clinton's 50 percent and Obama's 49 percent.
Yet the anti-McCain backlash continues among the Republican faithful, as you can see in the extensive comments section of this post at Captain's Quarters. I would caution the Democratic faithful, however, that these numbers will likely prove to be very fluid later in the year. For the time being, poll respondents who support the Republicans are no doubt still pulling hard for their chosen candidate and not feeding any good numbers to the other. But once we're down to the final nominees - particularly if Hillary Clinton is the Dem nominee - I expect you'll see a lot of potential Republican leaning voters deciding that any GOP candidate would be better than her and lining up behind their guy, even if reluctantly.
If the nominee is Obama, I think the GOP may still be in for a very long, hard haul to Nov. 4th.