For the first time in months a poll has President Obama beating both GOP front-runners, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, in South Carolina.
An NBC/Marist Poll has Obama leading – albeit narrowly – over Romney, 45 to 42 percent, and over Gingrich, 46 to 42. For months Obama has been trailing GOP front-runners on a national level. Now, however, it seems he is taking the lead in South Carolina, a very red state and the home of outspoken Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
As the Daily Beast explains, South Carolina is typically thought of as a “gimmie,” in golf terms, for the GOP.
“Nothing would say that the American people thought Republicans had vacated our planet like losing South Carolina. Everything was going gangbusters for the GOP there recently, even more than usual. The last remaining Democratic federal-level officials were all wiped out, except for James Clyburn, the congressman who represents the one majority-black district. The Democrats’ last Senate candidate was a laughingstock. And the Palmetto State had this hot new governor, Nikki Haley: right wing; a Sikh, of all improbable things (by birth – she's a fervent Christian now); a heavyweight endorsee of Sarah Palin; and a rising star.”
Of course, South Carolina itself will not make much of a difference in the election. However, for pundits who like to try and predict election results, extrapolating the decrease in GOP support in South Carolina to other more critical states like Florida could spell trouble for the Republicans come November.
According to the same polling organization, Obama is beating both GOP front-runners in Florida by a wider margin. Against Romney, he leads 48 to 41 percentage points; against Gingrich, he leads 51 to 39.
This has many people wondering: what happened? For months, Obama seemed to trail the named-GOP front-runner at the time by two to three percentage points. Many claim that the lackluster GOP presidential field mitigated voter enthusiasm for the Republicans.
Nevertheless, more Americans are getting wary of big government. A Gallup Poll released Monday reveals that 64 percent of Americans say big government will be the biggest threat to the country in the future. Forty-eight percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans believe more government equals more problems.