The cacophony of hoots being directed at Mitt Romney Wednesday for his poor performances in Alabama and Mississippi primaries is somewhat curious, especially since it was the conventional wisdom as recently as last week that the Deep South was likely to be very tough going for him.
In fairness, Romney probably brought some of this on himself with his prediction of a win in Alabama. And some of the last polls did suggest he might be in a position to win. Still, both states were always iffy for Romney.
In any event, all is not gloom and doom for the on-again, off-again, on-again frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.
A new Pew Research poll indicates that Romney is once again the clear favorite nationally among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents for the nomination, leading Rick Santorum 33 to 24 percent in a poll that was in the field through Sunday.
That compares with a month ago when Santorum and Romney were in a statistical tie, with the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania slightly ahead.
So that's the good news. The bad news is that a large percentage of voters surveyed by Pew, 59 percent, see Romney losing to President Obama while only 32 percent saw the former Massachusetts governor winning.
But at least Romney could boast that his numbers vis a vis Obama were better than Santorum's. The poll had 68 percent of respondents saying Obama would beat Santorum compared with 24 percent who said the former senator would win.