February 28, 2012
While much of the "mainstream" media continues to either ignore Texas Congressman Ron Paul altogether or speak dismissively of his Republican presidential campaign, aRasmussen poll released Monday shows Paul leading President Barack Obama in a hypothetical match-up of the two candidates. Paul would be the choice of 43 percent of the voters, with 41 percent choosing the incumbent. Paul's narrow lead marks the first time he has come out ahead of the President in the Rasmussen Report's daily tracking poll.
Mitt Romney also enjoys a slim lead over Obama in the daily polling for the first time since December of last year. Rasmussen's survey shows the former Massachusetts Governor with a 45-43 lead over the President. Rick Santorum, Romney's main rival in Tuesday’s Michigan and Arizona contests, has the opposite result, with a 45-43 percent lead for Obama over the former Pennsylvania Senator. Results have fluctuated in recent months, with Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former candidates Rick Perry and Herman Cain each having pulled ahead of Obama at various times. Only Romney has held the lead twice.
The Rasmussen report shows a virtual tie in Tuesday's Michigan primary, with Romney clinging to a 38-36 percent lead. The primary is considered a "must win" for Romney, a Michigan native and the son of the late George Romney, a former Michigan Governor who was himself a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. The February 26 polling of 750 Michigan voters likely to vote in the Republican primary showed candidates Gingrich and Paul far behind, with 11 percent choosing Gingrich and 10 percent for Paul. A Public Policy Polling report, released on the eve of Tuesday's Arizona primary, shows Romney pulling away from Santorum in the Grand Canyon State with a 43 to 26 percent lead. The same poll shows Gingrich at 18 percent, with 11 percent for Paul.
Despite some signs of economic recovery in February's Bureau of Labor Statistics report and a slim majority believing the nation is winning the War on Terror, Obama's approval rating dropped to its lowest point in more than a month, according to the Rasmussen survey, with 26 percent saying they "strongly approve" of the President’s job performance and 42 percent saying they "strongly disapprove." Obama fares better among less certain voters, with the overall numbers showing 45 percent of voters at least "somewhat approve "of his performance, though a majority (53 percent) at least "somewhat" disapprove. The 51 percent who believe America is winning the War on Terror is the highest percentage since last May's killing of Osama bin Laden, Rasmussen reports.