By Susan Duclos
A week after Rick Santorum suspended his campaign and pollsters have gone into head-to-head match up mode between Mitt Romney, who is considered the presumptive Republican candidate, and Barack Obama.
The initial polling data is problematic for Obama as Gallup, in their Daily Tracking poll, is already showing Romney with a five point lead over Obama. (The numbers at that link will change each day as Gallup tracks)
According to a CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday, Romney and Obama are tied with 46 percent each among registered voters.
Since Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are technically still in the GOP race, Romney is the front runner and the general consensus is that he will be the Republican nominee, which makes the head-to-head polling more predictive, although in my opinion, still understates Romney's numbers and will until he officially is named the nominee and Conservative voters as a whole have just one candidate to get coalesce behind.
Those polling numbers follow what many have described as a brutal GOP primary season, which generally damages candidates and it takes a little time to recover and turn favorability numbers around, which makes these numbers even more problematic for Obama.
In the most recent Pew Research poll, Obama is still ahead of Romney, 49 percent to 45 percent, but their headline says the lead is narrowing and the data in that poll includes a ranking of importance on 18 separate issues, then respondents were asked who they trusted more on those issues.
Out of 18 issues surveyed, Mitt Romney is trusted more on 10 key issues and Barack Obama is trusted more on 8 key issues.
Obama holds a double digit lead over Romney with women, which is why Ann Romney and the Romney's Mormon religion is under attack by Democrats and liberals, while the GOP and the Romney campaign are focusing on the damage women have suffered under the Obama administration.
If voters thought the GOP primary season was brutal, they haven't seen anything yet, because the general election season has just begun and both sides have come out swinging.