Can Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama?

Count me among those that believe Mitt Romney — or any Republican, for that matter — will have a tough time defeating Barack Obama in the fall. It’s not that Romney can’t win, but his lackluster primary campaign doesn’t exactly bode well for his future.

Whether conservatives want to admit it or not, Romney is probably their best hope for beating Obama. The only other candidate that was running close with him was Ron Paul, who never had a real shot at being the nominee. There is little doubt, however, that this election is going to be close, as Gallup’s first tracking poll indicated yesterday:

For all the pessimism, Obama’s number still aren’t that great. The Washington Examiner noted yesterday that his numbers are worse than Gerald Ford’s, who was going up against Jimmy Carter in 1976, at the same point in the campaign. And with a still-slow economy, high unemployment, and a river of red ink still flowing from Washington, Obama is going to throw everything he can at Romney to keep attention of him and his poor number.

Of course, we still have more than six months to go until election day, and anything can and will happen. But for Republicans that believe Romney can’t take down Obama, this should be a bright spot.

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