Rasmussen’s poll of likely voters now shows President Obama trailing “a generic Republican” presidential candidate by 6 percentage points (47 to 41 percent). Among independents, the generic Republican is winning by 11 points (45 to 34 percent). Unfortunately, no one in the current Republican field is faring as well. Of the actual candidates, Mitt Romney (who’s beating Obama by 2 points, 44 to 42 percent) and Herman Cain (who’s trailing Obama by 5 points, 39 to 34 percent) are doing the best.
On the bright side, part of what seems to be holding down the numbers for actual Republican candidates is some reluctance on the part of other GOP candidates’ supporters to show support for a rival candidate. Rasmussen lets respondents pick an answer of “some other candidate.” When asked about Romney versus Obama, 10 percent of Republicans, but only 3 percent of Democrats, chose “some other candidate.” When asked about Cain versus Obama, 18 percent of Republicans, but only 7 percent of Democrats, chose “some other candidate.” Once the Republican nomination is eventually decided, those numbers will presumably even out between the two parties. In that vein, Rasmussen already shows both Romney and Cain beating Obama among independents.