The latest national survey from Rasmussen -- whose numbers tracked President Obama creeping back to 50 percent approval in late February -- is getting the "shock poll" treatment from Drudge. Romney by five:
With the perception growing that he will be the GOP nominee, Romney leads President Obama by five points in a hypothetical 2012 matchup. Today's numbers show Romney at 48%, Obama at 43%. That’s Romney’s largest lead since December. If Santorum is the Republican nominee, he is up by one point over the president, 46% to 45%. This is the second time since polling began in 2011 that Santorum has had a slight lead over Obama. Romney is the only other candidate to lead the president more than one time in the polls. Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's job performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) at least somewhat disapprove.
Earlier in the week, I saw David Axelrod making the television rounds, shrugging off the notion that anybody could beat Obama, and dismissing the recent Gallup/USA Today poll as the one and only outlier. Well, add another "outlier" to the pile, I suppose. Also, don't forget that a majority of Americans say Obama's presidency is a failure, a majority doesn't think he deserves a second term, swing state voters lean Republican, GOP-aligned citizens are more enthusiastic about the election, most voters view the president's views as too liberal, and Obamacare is a lead weight around the president's neck. Gee, maybe the public isn't enthralled with Obama's war on jobs, and couldn't care less about the Democrats' manufactured "war on women" silliness.
As I've written previously, polling at this stage of the game is useless. Presidential surveys won't really matter until September, and a lot can -- and will -- change between now and then. However, these polls serve as helpful motivators to resist the fatalism that has gripped some conservative opinionmakers. Team Obama's chest-beating is a bluff. They know they're in trouble, and they're flailing to hold on to power.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography