I’m no psephologist, but my guess is that’s not where Axelrod wanted to be at this point. From Hotline:
A generic GOP candidate would run virtually even with Pres. Obama in a hypothetical WH ‘12 matchup, according to a new Gallup poll released today.
The poll was conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, surveying 942 registered voters for a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.
General Election Matchup
Generic GOPer 42
Meanwhile, ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) leads the field among 490 GOPers and GOP-leaning voters (for a margin of error of +/- 4.4%), but other big names are right behind him. Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), ex-AR Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), ex-Sen. Fred Thompson (R) and LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) all scored at least 1% in the open-ended question.
Primary Election Matchup
Gallup did not test any of the possible GOP candidates against Obama by name. But the poll shows that Obama is not immune from his party’s decline in popularity. The same poll found the two parties tied on a generic ‘10 congressional ballot, 45%-45%.