A generic Republican presidential candidate would beat Barack Obama by a five-point margin if the election were held today, according to a poll released Tuesday by Rasmussen.
The as-yet-unnamed Republican candidate leads Obama 47 percent to 42 percent. This is the fourth consecutive week that Rasmussen’s polling has found a generic Republican candidate with a lead.
And Rasmussen is not alone.
A Gallup poll of registered voters released on July 14 found a generic Republican candidate was leading Obama, 47 percent to 39 percent. Gallup noted that this was the first time the Republican candidate had held a “statistically significant lead.”
No specific candidate has yet been able to live up to the potential of the generic Republican. Though several state polls and one national poll have found specific candidates (usually Romney) leading Obama, no one has yet achieved the same six- to eight-point lead.
A Quinnipiac poll of Pennsylvania voters released Tuesday found Mitt Romney edging Obama 44 percent to 42 percent, a lead that is within the margin of error. In New Hampshire, Public Policy Polling found Romney with a 46–44 percentage-point lead over Obama in a poll released July 7. A Washington/Post ABC national poll released June 7 also found Romney narrowly leading Obama among registered voters, 49 percent to 46 percent.
Those leads, however, are narrow enough to fall within the margin of error of their respective polls.
For the moment, at least, President Obama looks to have an uphill re-election battle. On Friday his approval rating dropped to the lowest level of his presidency, according to Gallup’s three-day rolling average, with just 40 percent of voters saying they approved of his job performance.
The Rasmussen poll surveyed 3,500 likely voters by automated telephone calls from July 25 to July 31.