WSJ poll: Obama leads Romney by seven, Palin by 22

It’s a poll of adults, not even of registered voters, and the sample’s probably tilted a bit too far towards Democrats (42/33 if you include leaners), so scale the Republican numbers up by four or five points. An interesting trend for Romney: After seeing his favorables dip just before the midterms, he’s now back to where he was in July 2009. An early indicator that as the ObamaCare debate recedes, some conservatives are turning less chilly towards him?

Note that the fourth and fifth columns, representing negative views, are down fully 10 points in just three months. As for Palin, looks like the Alaska show isn’t making a dent. In fact, for the first time, her combined unfavorables are at 50 percent. I wonder which of her rivals will be the first to suggest that maybe she’s not the best person to demand “electability” from the nominee. (Smart money’s on Huck!)

Overall, The One leads Romney 47/40 and Palin 55/33, which is in line with the spreads from Politico’s new poll too (40/33 versus Romney and 48/33 versus Palin). What makes that doubly depressing is that there are plenty of bad indicators for Obama in this poll, most notably the fact that 63 percent think the country’s headed in the wrong direction — an all-time high since he was sworn in. Maybe it’s a simple matter of skepticism about the GOP that’s leading the public to bitterly cling to The One: In WaPo’s new poll, he retains a small advantage in trust over Republicans even though Clinton and Bush trailed the opposing party by double digits after the 1994 and 2006 wipeouts, respectively.

Here’s a fascinating data point from the Journal poll that I’m not sure how to explain. In theory, the longer he’s in office, the more people should be willing to blame him for the state of the economy. And yet:

He was down to 56 percent a few months ago on the question of whether he inherited the economy and now suddenly he’s back up to 65 percent, almost identical to his numbers in October 2009. I have no theory for why that trend would reverse, unless the dip in September was due to heavy negative advertising by the GOP ahead of the midterms. Even if so, why would the numbers reverse? Why not just stay flat?

That’s not the only good news for him, either. This ought to make tomorrow’s House vote on the tax cuts deal a lead pipe cinch:

Fully 61 percent think it’s a fair deal, and 63 percent of Democrats say they want their political leaders to compromise more generally. And not just Democrats, either:

Even the GOP is split evenly, which makes me wonder if there aren’t more RINOs around these days than we thought. You know who that benefits? I think you do.

Exit question: How to explain this sudden surge in support for compromise? Is it a natural reaction to divided government? Public fatigue from gridlock? Or can we credit this one to a very special someone who knows a thing or two about triangulation?

Update: Conservatives4Palin e-mails to point out that the 22-point margin between Obama and Palin is an outlier compared to other polls. That’s true: PPP’s most recent poll also had them much closer at 51/42, which might be explained (in part) by the fact that that was a poll of voters, not just adults. Her unfavorables here are, however, in line with other polls, virtually all of which put her around or above 50 percent.