Rick Perry may be the early favorite among GOP faithful, but Mitt Romney has better poll numbers than the Texas governor in a head-to-head match with Obama. Two new polls--from Rasmussen Reports and Public Policy Polling--tell us that Mitt would do OK against the president, in a hypothetical sense. And, conversely, Rick Perry looks dinged up after being the proverbial "piñata" while candidates took their best swipes at him during debates. In Rasmussen's take, Mitt now leads the president 43 to 40 percent in support, a three point lead that is statistically insignificant but looks like his best result against Obama in the polling outfit's election 2012 head-to-head surveys. 

Public Policy Polling's latest has more decent news for Romney--if only because Rick Perry does worse than him. In a theoretical race against Obama, Mitt would lose by four points and Rick Perry would lose by eleven points to the president. Perry seems particularly hurt by the fact that only 20 percent of Americans, according to PPP, agree with him that Social Security is a "Ponzi Scheme." The telling quote from PPP president Dean Debnam: "In just three weeks Barack Obama has nearly doubled his lead over Rick Perry."