There are plenty of Democrats and even some Republicans who view the Republican primary as a gift to President Obama. Sixteen debates, web videos and "you can't even make this up" candidate behavior, have provided plenty of fodder for late night comedians and opposition researchers. Meanwhile, frontrunner Mitt Romney has solidified his place on top thanks mostly to the fact that his opponents have imploded.
Even so, three new national polls should give Democrats some serious pause. They show a very vulnerable president who is serious danger of losing re-election.
ABC/Washington Post polling shows Obama's approval rating at 48 percent. Pollster Gary Langer writes: "In polling since 1940, just four previous presidents have started their re-election year with less than 50 percent approval. Only one of them won, Richard Nixon in 1972."
Gallup's Lydia Saad writes: " Obama's job approval rating has averaged 44 percent in Gallup Daily tracking since the start of January. That is below the approval rating of seven out of eight previous incumbents at a comparable point in their presidencies."
CNN/ORC poll asked voters who they saw as best able to "get the economy moving." Just 40 percent chose Obama, while 53 percent picked Romney.
ABC/Washington Post and CNN/ORC polling show Obama in a dead heat with Romney.
Romney - 48 percent
Obama - 47 percent
Romney - 47 percent
Obama - 46 percent
Despite these bleak numbers, there are some signs of hope and opportunity for the President.
Per CNN: Republicans aren't any more energized/enthusiastic about this election than Democrats. This is good news for an Obama campaign that is well-practiced and well-suited for a ground game campaign.
Obama's message on economic inequality trumps the Republican message about an economy that is struggling under the weight of too many government regulations.
From ABC/Washington Post pollster Gary Langer: "Questions about Romney's background at Bain Capital may show bigger teeth in a general election campaign. By 55-35 percent, more Americans express concern about the economic system favoring the wealthy than about overregulation fettering free enterprise, likely a sharp point of contention between Obama and whatever Republican he faces.
There are major partisan divisions on the question: 79 percent of Democrats see unfairness in the economic system as the bigger problem; just 30 percent of Republicans agree, but 52 percent of independents side with the Democrats. So do significantly more young adults, women, racial minorities, less well-off and the least-educated Americans, compared with their counterparts."