Today we asked, "Can the eventual Republican nominee beat Obama in November?"
As of 3:30 this afternoon, the results were as follows:
No (66%)Yes if the economy tanks (16%)Yes (12%)Not with current GOP craziness (5%)It depends on who the nominee is (1%)
We supplied the Yes and No options, readers added the more colorful choices.
We also received a number of apt comments. One commenter was actively hoping for an Obama win so that the GOP would reform itself for greater future competitiveness.
Martha Foster: Crossing my fingers that Santorum is nominated, not because that would make it easier for Obama to win, but because it might shake some sense into the Republican party. If Romney is nominated and then loses, the far right can just claim, "That's because we nominated a moderate!" And then things will continue on this path. The country needs the GOP to wake up and change course.
Some thought the question depends on who the eventual nominee turns out to be.
Jack Williams: Possible if it's Romney, he pretty much wraps it by Super Tuesday, and the economy tanks. Don't think I'd say probable, though.
Another raised concerns about the question itself.
Mark Rice: I don't think this question is framed right. If this question was asked, "Is there any Republican who could beat Obama in November if that person was the Republican nominee?"--then there might be more "Yes" votes here. This poll seems to assume that the Republican nominee will be Romney or Santorum, or (less likely) Gingrich or Paul. Who knows what might result from a brokered convention?
The commentary added color to the poll leading to the notion that although the current four Republicans running for president don't inspire hope, conservative ideas still remain popular. The dissatisfaction endemic in the current race could be an impetus for a fresh crop of 2016 candidacies...or even to a hitherto unknown 2012 contender emerging from a brokered convention.