The left still has plenty of time to Palin-ize Michele Bachmann (which they’re already working overtime on this week), but Quinnipiac’s new 2012 poll out today has some hopeful news for the congresswoman – and it isn’t just that she’s gaining ground on Mitt Romney with primary voters.
One of the most persuasive criticisms of Bachmann is that she’d be toxic in a general election, and the Quinnipiac poll today reiterated she would lose to Obama 38-50 percent if an election were held today. But it also found that Mitt Romney – whose major draw is that he’s apparently “electable” – only does three points better than Bachmann in an Obama match-up. He would lose to the president 41-50 percent.
And in Bachmann’s match-up with Obama, she does surprisingly well with independent voters, garnering 40 percent, compared to Obama’s 43 percent. This is close to Romney, who pulls in 42 percent of independent voters, with Obama pulling in 40 percent.
Contrast this with Sarah Palin, who tanks with independents when matched up against Obama, winning only 33 percent compared to Obama’s 50 percent.
So while Romney is still slightly more palatable than Bachmann on the national stage, her divisiveness problem may be overstated at this point. There are still legitimate concerns – one is that the left will have an easier time smearing her than they would with Romney. There’s also Bachmann’s reputation as a loose cannon, and her thin resume. But based on these latest numbers, it seems unfair to say Romney is significantly more “electable” than Bachmann.