So says the new McClatchy-Marist poll:
Newt Gingrich is the strongest Republican candidate when matched head to head against Democratic President Barack Obama, according to a McClatchy-Marist Poll released Tuesday.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives is neck and neck with the incumbent president, back just 2 percentage points among registered voters. Obama leads 47 percent to 45 percent.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is next closest, trailing Obama by 4 percentage points. In that matchup, Obama leads 48 percent to 44 percent.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is the third best bet for the Republicans right now, 8 points back from Obama. No other Republican is within single digits of Obama. The survey has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
It’s hardly definitive in terms of substance, and it shouldn’t be. But, in terms of the superficial “electability” argument Romney had going for him, well, that’s kaput. Gingrich is, at least at the moment, the most electable.