Obama led Mitt Romney 50-41 on our poll. He was up 11 points on Herman Cain at 50-39, 13 on Newt Gingrich at 51-38, 14 on Ron Paul at 50-36, 14 on Michele Bachmann at 51-37 and a whooping 17 points on Rick Perry at 53-36. It used to be Sarah Palin's numbers that we compared to Barry Goldwater, but Perry's deficit would represent the largest Republican defeat in Ohio since 1964.
Notice who's surged just a bit? Newt! Missing from this poll as they are (at this time) completely inconsequential (but don't rule them out as the GOP searches for a Great White Hope): Santorum, Huntsman, and the rest. Sad for Huntsman, as Andrew notes:
We've seen the polls showing a shift in Americans' views of inequality and their support of higher taxes for the wealthiest as part of a debt-reduction package. We've seen the accelerating moderation on marriage equality and marijuana. We've noticed the Tea Party's further alienation of minority voters, and now, with the Cain circus, possible intensification of the gender gap. We've noticed that increasing numbers of voters, including independents, regard the GOP as potentially sabotaging the economy purely in order to defeat Obama. Now we are seeing the effect of all this in actual elections. And the GOP primary campaign has also underlined just how marginal, ideological and inexperienced many of the presidential candidates are. A party that gives a motivational speaker ten times the support of a two-term governor of Utah, re-elected with 84 percent of the vote, with strong bipartisan credentials and an even stronger tax reform plan ... well, it's a party in free-fall that also doesn't understand that it is.
As I've predicted numerous times on UYR, the Republican Party is headed for a schism that is being heralded by this free-fall. The party will split in two, with one side appealing to (mostly) white ideological purists, theocons, and raving lunatic libertarians, while the other draws in the moderates who actually understand how the game is played and that there are quite a few Americans, who don't subscribe to their views, with whom they actually need to work. Once that schism occurs, you'll see huge messes all over the country as the right wing fights for legitimacy. It's actually a fight I can't wait to see.