A recent Investor’s Business Daily poll is pretty consistent with most 2008 general election polls, showing McCain and Giuliani ahead of potential Democratic rivals, and Romney losing handily to Clinton, Obama and Edwards. For Romney to win the Republican nomination, he not only has to convince primary voters that he’s adequately conservative, but that he can win in November. Supporters of Romney would argue that the fact that he won in the solidly blue state of Massachusetts is proof positive that he would be competitive in a general election. However, it’s worth noting that the Romney who won the Massachusetts governor’s mansion in 2002 was the pro-choice, pro-gay rights, moderate Romney, not the “evolved” conservative he’s portraying himself as now. In fact, a SurveyUSA poll taken last month showed that his approval rating in Massachusetts was 39 percent vs. a disapproval rating of 59 percent-among “independents” his approval rating was a slightly higher but still lackluster 42 percent. The obvious caveat applies that we’re 22 months from Election Day 2008 and such horse race polls are meaningless, especially because Romney remains unknown to most Americans. However, at some point the electability issue will be a factor in the Republican primaries, and those hypothetical matchups will have to look better for Romney for him to win the nomination.