President Ron Paul?
In yet another silly poll sampling attitudes toward a mythical presidential matchup two years away, Rasmassen finds that Ron Paul is in a dead heat with President Barack Obama.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
Now, as Michael Barone points out, “Rasmussen’s tight likely voters screen tends to produce a more Republican sample than do most other pollsters, who at this stage of the cycle tend to look at registered voters or all adults.” He adds, “Still, the specter of the incumbent president leading a fringe figure by Ron Paul by a statistically insignificant 1% is pretty amazing.”
Meh. My strong guess is that most people have no idea who Ron Paul is. But they won’t tell Rasmussen:
Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.
Paul, a anti-big government libertarian who engenders unusually strong feelings among his supporters, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But he continues to have a solid following, especially in the growing Tea Party movement.
Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters now consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, an eight-point increase from a month ago. Another 10% say they are not a part of the movement but have close friends or family members who are.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of Paul, while 30% view him unfavorably. This includes 10% with a very favorable opinion and 12% with a very unfavorable one. But nearly one-out-of-three voters (32%) are not sure what they think of Paul.
At any rate, I agree with Barone that there is zero chance Paul will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. These early polls are mildly amusing but otherwise worthless.