Fox News shares a somewhat surprising poll result:
Looking ahead to November, Obama edges Republican Mitt Romney by 5 percentage points (47-42 percent) in a hypothetical matchup today. In January, the president had a narrow one-point edge (46-45 percent). Both leads are within the polls’ margins of sampling error.
The president’s advantage widens against the other GOP contenders. Obama leads Ron Paul by 10 percentage points (48-38 percent), Rick Santorum by 12 points (50-38 percent) and Newt Gingrich by 13 points (51-38 percent).
Among independents, Romney tops Obama by 9 points. Last month, independents also broke for Romney (by 5 points).
Now, keep in mind that this is a survey of registered voters, not likely voters. But if Romney is increasing his poll numbers among independents, shouldn’t he be in better shape? The most likely explanation is that the partisan sample in the poll changed, increasing the number of Democrats . . . or perhaps a certain number of Republicans are telling the pollster that they just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Romney.