The president and the maverick are running almost dead even in a hypothetical 2012 election matchup.
Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul earns 38% of the vote to President Obama’s 39% in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters. Fourteen percent (14%) like some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Just a month ago, Obama posted a 41% to 37% lead over Paul, who ran second to Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the recent high-profile Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.
Paul, whose long run afoul of the GOP establishment with his libertarian policy prescriptions, picks up 61% of the Republican vote, while 78% of Democrats fall in behind the president. Voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties prefer the longtime congressman by 10 points – 43% to 33%.
But Paul still has a long haul among voters in his own party. He ran fourth last week in Rasmussen Reports’ most recent survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters with nine percent (9%) support. Texas Governor Rick Perry, the new face in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has jumped to a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Bachmann with the other announced candidates trailing even further behind.
In that same survey, 43% of likely primary voters expressed a favorable opinion of Paul, while slightly more (45%) registered an unfavorable view of him. This included 15% with a Very Favorable regard for Paul, who ran unsuccessfully for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008, and 14% with a Very Unfavorable one.
Still, Paul, popular with many in the Tea Party movement, runs better against the incumbent than another Tea Party favorite
, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.Obama leads Palin 50% to 33% among all likely voters, making her the only potential GOP candidate to date against whom the president’s support has risen out of the 40s.
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The match-up surveys of 1,000 Likely Voters were conducted August 15-16, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error for the surveys is +/- 3% with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.