The latest NBC/Marist poll in Florida this weekend finds Mitt Romney up big over Newt Gingrich now, 42%-27%. That’s not the big news. This is, buried at the ass end of the article:
Romney and rest of the candidates, however, continue to trail President Obama in Florida among all voters. Romney does best, but loses 49-41 percent, a point worse than a month ago.
As in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, Gingrich fares the worst of the entire GOP field against Obama, worse even than Santorum or Paul. Obama beats Gingrich, 52-35 percent, a five-point wider advantage for Obama from December.
Obama, whose approval rating in Florida is 46 percent, has a lead over Romney, in large part, because of independents. Independents sided overwhelmingly with the president — 50-36 percent over Romney, and by 20 points or more over Gingrich, Santorum and Paul.
Pretty much everyone on Earth should have seen this coming. The longer and uglier the GOP primary becomes, and the further Mitt Romney has to pivot to the right during the primary season, the more independent voters he’ll lose in the general.
Another reason that POTUS is leading in Florida is Gov. Rick Scott. Independents are utterly furious with him and that’s reflected in that general independent disgust with all four GOP candidates. The same scenario is playing out in the other two big traditional swing states, Ohio with John Kasich, and to a lesser extent, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.
And yes, ten months is a universe in political time, but the seeds for the GOP defeat in November are being planted now by Romney trying to out-wingnut the wingnuts.