During this morning's tour of my regular blog reading schedule - Left, Right and middle - I came across this curious post at Captain's Quarters, titled Romney Rising.
Amidst all of the stormy polling clouds, a little ray of sunshine has broken over the Romney campaign. Rasmussen shows Romney slowly climbing into a tie nationwide with John McCain in its daily tracking poll.
Sure enough, our friend Captain Ed was referring to this set of recent poll results from Rasmussen which indicates that, on a national level at least, Romney has pulled into a tie with John McCain at 30%. You can imagine my surprise at seeing these figures, particularly given that I had only just finished reading this poll report from Gallup.
John McCain continues to be the primary beneficiary of Rudy Giuliani's recent exit from the Republican race for president. The percentage of Republican primary voters nationwide favoring McCain for the nomination rose from 39% in interviews conducted Jan. 29-30, to 44% in Jan. 30-Feb. 1 polling. Neither Mitt Romney nor Mike Huckabee picked up any additional support.
Yes, you read that right. In the same time period as the Rasmussen report, Gallup has Big Mag leading Mitt by a growing margin of 44 to 24. That's an almost unimaginable lead of 20 points in the last 48 hours before Super Duper Tuesday, with McCain picking up almost all of Rudy's former support. What could account for the difference? Both of them are listing around 1,000 "likely primary voters" but using different language. Perhaps Rasmussen is only counting registered voters for each party even in states that have open primaries? I'm not sure, but it is certainly a stark difference.
So why should we suddenly be supporting Romney? A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's why.
(click on image for larger view)
That old fly in the ointment, favorability. Obama and McCain have the glaringly highest numbers at 59%. Hillary comes in at a teeth grating, even Steven, 50%. And then we have Mitt, pretty much being lapped by the pack and scraping in at an anemic 32%. When you can't muster one third of the country to rate you as "favorable" you may just run into some problems in a general election.
The bottom line is that I still think Hillary Clinton will effectively wrap up the nomination this Tuesday. Barack Obama has run one heck of a good race, but I just don't get the feeling that he can close the deal at this point and take the Democratic nomination. John McCain, while a great man, a true war hero and a dedicated public servant, is still a Republican. He's an ardent proponent of the Iraq war and will be unlikely to appoint Supreme Court Justices who would be satisfying to me. And he is still, I believe, clearly a threat to beat Hillary Clinton in the general election. Romney just carries more and more of the smell of a Bob Dole candidacy.
So come on, folks. Let's get out there and carry some water for Mitt Romney. I think he is definitely the Republican nominee we need in 2008.