In what can only be called a mammoth-sized Nothing-burger, the press was obsessed yesterday with the 5.8-level earthquake yesterday. East Coasters in a desperate attempt to identify with their West Coast buddies talked up the quake that ran from South Carolina to New Jersey for the entire news cycle. The mini-crisis dulled the potential positive poll impact for President Obama from Muammar Qaddafi‘s ouster and temporarily distracted coverage from his crashing poll numbers — cue the partisan earthquake jokes: “That wasn’t an earthquake it was Obama’s approval numbers hitting rock bottom”
However, even amidst the hype some fault-lines are beginning to take shape in the presidential race that I have been noting for quite some time. Two recent polls from Public Policy Polling, a reasonably reliable pollster, show the increasing ability of Mitt Romney to be elected against Obama. Obama is soundly beating Rick Perry 49 to 43% in the first major poll pitting the two against each other, but he is statistically tied with Mitt Romney at 45% a piece.
What’s better Romney is whalloping the president 49% to 39% in Florida, one of the three upset states Obama pulled off in 2008 (along with Virginia and North Carolina) that he has to do well in for re-election this year. Mind you, there is a note of caution for all Republicans out there putting on your “Mitt is It!” hats for the coming year. Perry is also beating Obama in the sunshine state 46% to 39% according to a poll conducted by a Republican firm. Either way an even stronger case is being made by these numbers that Romney would be the better option for a Republican party that wants to win in 2012, even though his chances of winning the nomination seems to be falling between the cracks.
This article originally appeared in Loop21.com under the headline “Earthquake obscures GOP gaining ground on Obama.”