Barack Obama,  Mitt Romney,  Polling,  President 2012

President 2012 Poll Watch: Democratic Insiders Say Mitt Romney is Obama’s Main Threat

According to the latest National Journal Democratic Insiders Poll.

With the economy sputtering, Democratic political operatives view former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the main Republican threat to President Obama’s reelection, according to this week’s National Journal Political Insiders Poll.

Democratic Insiders see Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has not yet declared whether or not he will run for president, as the second strongest against Obama. A separate poll of Republican insiders, released Thursday, also showed Perry as Romney’s main GOP challenger.

Just two months ago, Democratic Insiders also saw Romney as the lead GOP challenger for Obama to overcome, but today, they sound like that hurdle is considerably higher. “He is the best counter to Obama,” said one Democratic Insider of the former Massachusetts governor. “He is an executive while Obama was a legislator. Romney ran a company–Obama never made a payroll. Romney created jobs–unemployment is 9 percent-plus under Obama.” Echoed another, “Strong business background in a bad economy is a plus for him, as is the Massachusetts health care plan in a general election.” Added a third: “He forces Obama to defend the Democratic base states, and will be able to talk about the economy better than any other Republican.”

Democrats also thought Romney had gained experience from his unsuccessful run for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination and that he could win over swing voters, unlike some of his Republican rivals. “Has run before, looks presidential and unlike others not a total turn off to Dems and independents,” observed a Democratic Insider. “He’s got economic credibility, he seems smart, he has a bit of polish and he doesn’t seem like a complete loon,” said another Democrat. “None of the others have that whole package.

I have to agree that Mitt Romney at present looks like the most formidable to President Obama’s re-election. If he can get by the narrative he outsourced jobs to foreign countries and that RomneyCare is the same as ObamaCare he will win on the poor economy alone.

Also, if he chooses wisely a Vice Presidential running mate, like Rick Perry, Marco Rubio or Michele Bachmann who will reassure the Tea Party, he will have a tremendous advantage over Vice President Joe Biden.

Still, most Democrats are not taking much for granted. “With Obama’s approval rating at 40 percent and seemingly insensitive to jobs, Romney and either Bachmann or [Sen. Marco] Rubio [of Florida] would be [a] formidable [ticket].” Another said of Romney, “It looks like he’s got the strongest campaign, he’s raised the most money, and he’s not part of the current morass in Washington.”