Romney's the Only Republican Who Can Beat Obama in New Poll

And Sarah Palin does the worst against the president

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This morning's Washington Post/ABC News poll will please a very fragile Republican frontrunner, disappoint a bus tour superstar and encourage all campaigns to furiously print economy-themed bumper stickers. In a head-to-head match up, Mitt Romney is the only GOPer to best President Obama (a statistically insignificant 49 to 46 percent lead) among registered voters. Conversely, Sarah Palin does the worst against the president (trailing by 17 points) by the same measure.

The reason for Mitt's somewhat unlikely boost is the same one that pundits consistently point out as Obama's greatest weakness: job creation. As MSNBC's First Read reminds, the poll was conducted during the "worst economic news" since last summer and only shows Mitt with a statistically insignificant lead. It's more "Obama vs. the economy" than anything, the NBC tipsheet figured.

Meanwhile, the candidate who stole the spotlight from the Mitt last weekend in New Hampshire, Sarah Palin, has 64 percent of Americans saying they "definitely" won't vote for her. And the only people who seem to want her to be the Republican nominee, notes The Washington Post, are Democrats who "think independents would flock to Obama and liberals would turn out in huge numbers to defeat her." Not a great base to for Palin to begin with.

As per usual with single-serving polls, the usual caveats about head-to-head match-ups should be heeded. First Read warns that "Dole was beating Clinton at this point in the '96 cycle," and, if you recall, someone named Donald Trump was tied with the President in a Newsweek poll in mid-February.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.