Rasmussen Poll: Ron Paul leads Obama for the first time

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Photo: BusinessInsider.com

In a first-time upset, Rasmussen Report‘s daily presidential tracking poll found Ron Paul leading President Barack Obama nationally in a hypothetical 2012 match-up.

Here were all four match-ups:

Romney 45% – Obama 43%
Paul 43% – Obama 41%
Obama 45% – Santorum 43%
Obama 49% – Gingrich 39%

These latest numbers, reported by the nationally-acclaimed public polling company Monday, reflect the downward trend of President Obama’s job approval in recent days, though Rasmussen warns that “It remains to be seen, of course, if this is merely statistical noise or a lasting change signaling that the president’s recent bounce in the polls has come to an end.” Whether statistical noise, or a lasting change, President Obama still came out relatively unscathed by Monday’s revelation.

Even the two Republicans to best him both only did so by 2 points, which was within the poll’s 3 point margin of error– and that’s if the 2012 match-ups happened while the poll was conducted, not this November after Democrats and the Obama 2012 campaign have gone on the offensive against the eventual Republican nominee. As Obama sits on a hefty war chest and watches the Republican field burn through millions of dollars in ad buys and campaigning, the view can’t look too bad.

The only big loser of Monday’s poll result was Newt Gingrich, who trailed behind Obama nationally by 10 points. Gingrich was the only Republican presidential candidate not to statistically tie with the president in Rasmussen‘s hypothetical match-ups. For a Republican primary characterized heavily by so many party leaders’ and voters’ stated goal to defeat President Obama at all costs, the poll result bodes ill for the former House Speaker’s prospects leading into Super Tuesday just one week from now.

The big winner of Monday’s revelation was clearly Congressman Ron Paul, who led President Obama for the first time in Rasmussen‘s daily presidential tracking poll, and led by the same margin as the Republican primary front-runner, Mitt Romney. Rasmussen noted the Paul campaign’s milestone:

“Paul now joins Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Santorum and Gingrich as front-runners who have led the president in a single Rasmussen Reports poll. However, it remains to be seen whether Paul can do what those others have not accomplished and lead the president more than once. So far, the only GOP candidate to do that is Romney.”

Paul’s campaign took the opportunity for a victory lap, a jab at Obama, and sharply-worded attacks on Paul’s Republican opponents, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. In an email to supporters, Ron Paul wrote:

“More and more Americans realize my message of liberty, sound money, and free markets runs in clear contrast to Barack Obama’s economy-wrecking, Constitution-shredding policies.

This poll also shows that fake conservatives Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich would be defeated in a general election because voters are fed up with politicians who sell out their principles for party loyalty.

The Republican Party can’t nominate a candidate who will spend the entire fall campaign apologizing for their Big Government record if we want to defeat Barack Obama.”

These latest public opinion numbers confirm my conclusions as set forth one month ago in an article here at The Independent Voter Network, entitled “Despite media claims, the numbers reveal Ron Paul is electable.” In it, I pointed out that in addition to outperforming all his Republican rivals among key demographics that Obama counted on to win in 2008, Ron Paul consistently polls within a margin of error of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in national polling by reputable organizations.

Whether you like him or not, agree with him or not, plan to vote for him or not, the fact that Ron Paul has now even defeated President Obama in a national public opinion poll by a reputable polling organization gives lie to the oft-repeated claim that the Texas Congressman is “not electable.” At this point, that claim should no longer be taken seriously. All it really means anymore is: “I don’t want Ron Paul to get elected,” which is fine–but his critics should just say that and explain why instead of brazenly contradicting the empirics.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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  1. Ryan Allein Interesting stuff. I think it goes to show that Paul is the only candidate that would be able to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats in the general election. Unfortunately the media is telling the American people that he has no shot, which in the end will result in him not being selected at the Republican convention. 
  2. Jec146 Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who bested Obama in the February 28 poll. I don't know where the author got their numbers, but if you follow the link in the article, Romney only TIED Obama with 44%.
  3. Matt Metzner +/- 8 pts? Doesn't strike me as reliable.
  4. W. E. Messamore From the Rasmussen page linked in this article: "The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence." I don't know where you got the 8 points.
  5. Matt Metzner My mistake. Not a math wiz.
  6. Billmaxey The Rasmussen poll is a joke.  EVERY other poll in the US has Obama leading each of the four clowns by double digits.
  7. W. E. Messamore Actually-- if Rasmussen's poll is an outlier, it's because it has a higher predictive accuracy. Check the methodology of Gallup's presidential tracking poll or any of the other polls right now-- they are polling registered voters. To my knowledge, Rasmussen is the only one polling *likely* voters this early in the election cycle. That difference in methodology likely accounts for discrepancies in results, and frankly I'll put my money on the likely voters over the merely registered ones.
  8. Doublespambox  If you're interested in predictive accuracy, check out Intrade. It called 50/50 states in 2004, and 48/50 states in 2008. Missouri and Indiana were only won by 0.9% and 0.1% respectively. None of the polling organizations, with 3-4% margins of error, can compete with that record. Right now Obama is trading at 61.4% on the individual election winner market up from a low of 47% in October.
  9. DonnaB Billmaxey-  I voted for Obama last time--he's my 2nd choice this year---Ron Paul is sooooo not a clown--like the other 3 are!!!  I believe he has the best plans to turn our country around.   If you don't know enough about him and where he stands on issues----go to his website and read my whole post above which tells you why I feel this way.....  Thanks 
  10. DonnaB IT'S ABOUT TIME !!!     Ron Paul is such a good, honest, ethical candidate like we have never seen the likes of before and probably never will be lucky enough to again!!! ---- you will try to find any shred of anything to defame the guy!! .......He dosn't like to- fire people and can relate to people struggling because he's not a multi milliaire elitist, he did'nt divorce a dying wife, he dosn't want to bomb people that don't attack us first, he never once voted for a tax increase, he dosn't take lobbyist's money--& his campaign is not funded by millionaires like Goldman Sachs and the like----but rather his campaign is primarily funded by OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM!!!! (BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT IS CORRECT ON HIS POSITIONS - ESPECIALLY FOREIGN POLICY!!!)......He gives huge amounts of money back to the U.S. Treasury every year to reduce the deficit of his own accord !! ---- Who the heck does that in this world of GREED that we live in today ???!!!-----I'll tell you who---only the likes of RON PAUL do we see such character---where the man just does not talk a talk and tell people what they want to hear to get elected----this man actually WALKS HIS TALK---and has consistenty for 30+ years!!!!!!! and says what he knows is right---even when it is not popular ! He's the only one that has the right mindset regarding foreign policy---- to BUTT OUT of other countries business more and take care of our OWN darn country!! Stop the senseless practice of us FUNDING 900 bases in 130 countries---It is nothing but billions of our dollars BEING WASTED!!!--They serve NO PURPOSE BEING THERE !!! bring all those troops home to secure our own darn borders! Stop sending foreign aid to other countries---he's totally right---WE ARE BROKE AND LIVING ON BORROWED MONEY &---WE HAVE PEOPLE IN OUR OWN COUNTRY STARVING RIGHT NOW !!! ---we can't afford to be sending other countries aid !!! & also --yes---release all NON-VIOLENT criminals from our over crowded jails--! With those 3 COMMON SENSE solutions alone--we could reduce our deficit substantially---- The other 3 clowns have no ideas that even come close to helping this country as Paul's ideas do !!! Wake up America--- If you don't want more of your sons and daughters to die in the near future!--- if you want Peace and Prosperity to return to America---- you had better vote for RON PAUL !!! or you know what??------- You will deserve what you get !!! More pre-emptive wars is the very worst thing this country could do for itself.----- I don't know when you war-mongering people are ever going to learn !!!
10 comments
Ryan Allein
Ryan Allein

Interesting stuff. I think it goes to show that Paul is the only candidate that would be able to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats in the general election. Unfortunately the media is telling the American people that he has no shot, which in the end will result in him not being selected at the Republican convention. 

Jec146
Jec146

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who bested Obama in the February 28 poll. I don't know where the author got their numbers, but if you follow the link in the article, Romney only TIED Obama with 44%.

Matt Metzner
Matt Metzner

+/- 8 pts? Doesn't strike me as reliable.

Billmaxey
Billmaxey

The Rasmussen poll is a joke.  EVERY other poll in the US has Obama leading each of the four clowns by double digits.

DonnaB
DonnaB

IT'S ABOUT TIME !!!     Ron Paul is such a good, honest, ethical candidate like we have never seen the likes of before and probably never will be lucky enough to again!!! ---- you will try to find any shred of anything to defame the guy!! .......He dosn't like to- fire people and can relate to people struggling because he's not a multi milliaire elitist, he did'nt divorce a dying wife, he dosn't want to bomb people that don't attack us first, he never once voted for a tax increase, he dosn't take lobbyist's money--& his campaign is not funded by millionaires like Goldman Sachs and the like----but rather his campaign is primarily funded by OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM!!!! (BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT IS CORRECT ON HIS POSITIONS - ESPECIALLY FOREIGN POLICY!!!)......He gives huge amounts of money back to the U.S. Treasury every year to reduce the deficit of his own accord !! ---- Who the heck does that in this world of GREED that we live in today ???!!!-----I'll tell you who---only the likes of RON PAUL do we see such character---where the man just does not talk a talk and tell people what they want to hear to get elected----this man actually WALKS HIS TALK---and has consistenty for 30+ years!!!!!!! and says what he knows is right---even when it is not popular !

He's the only one that has the right mindset regarding foreign policy---- to BUTT OUT of other countries business more and take care of our OWN darn country!! Stop the senseless practice of us FUNDING 900 bases in 130 countries---It is nothing but billions of our dollars BEING WASTED!!!--They serve NO PURPOSE BEING THERE !!! bring all those troops home to secure our own darn borders! Stop sending foreign aid to other countries---he's totally right---WE ARE BROKE AND LIVING ON BORROWED MONEY &---WE HAVE PEOPLE IN OUR OWN COUNTRY STARVING RIGHT NOW !!! ---we can't afford to be sending other countries aid !!! & also --yes---release all NON-VIOLENT criminals from our over crowded jails--! With those 3 COMMON SENSE solutions alone--we could reduce our deficit substantially---- The other 3 clowns have no ideas that even come close to helping this country as Paul's ideas do !!!

Wake up America--- If you don't want more of your sons and daughters to die in the near future!--- if you want Peace and Prosperity to return to America---- you had better vote for RON PAUL !!! or you know what??------- You will deserve what you get !!! More pre-emptive wars is the very worst thing this country could do for itself.----- I don't know when you war-mongering people are ever going to learn !!!

W. E. Messamore
W. E. Messamore

From the Rasmussen page linked in this article:

"The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters

is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence."

I don't know where you got the 8 points.

W. E. Messamore
W. E. Messamore

Actually-- if Rasmussen's poll is an outlier, it's because it has a

higher predictive accuracy. Check the methodology of Gallup's

presidential tracking poll or any of the other polls right now-- they

are polling registered voters. To my knowledge, Rasmussen is the only

one polling *likely* voters this early in the election cycle. That difference in methodology likely accounts for discrepancies in results, and frankly I'll put my money on the likely voters over the merely registered ones.

DonnaB
DonnaB

Billmaxey-  I voted for Obama last time--he's my 2nd choice this year---Ron Paul is sooooo not a clown--like the other 3 are!!!  I believe he has the best plans to turn our country around.   If you don't know enough about him and where he stands on issues----go to his website and read my whole post above which tells you why I feel this way.....  Thanks 

Doublespambox
Doublespambox

 If you're interested in predictive accuracy, check out Intrade. It called 50/50 states in 2004, and 48/50 states in 2008. Missouri and Indiana were only won by 0.9% and 0.1% respectively. None of the polling organizations, with 3-4% margins of error, can compete with that record. Right now Obama is trading at 61.4% on the individual election winner market up from a low of 47% in October.