|  December 21, 2014  |  
Overcast   26.0F  |  Forecast »
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Romney, Huckabee Even With Obama, Other GOP Hopefuls Trail

An early look at potential 2012 match-ups indicates that the election is likely shaping up as a referendum on President Obama. That's typical when an incumbent runs for reelection.

The numbers show that Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee essentially run even with Obama at this point. Romney is nominally up two points, 44% to 42%, while Huckabee is tied with the president at 43% apiece.

Three other well-known potential candidates, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul trail the president. Palin is down by 11 points, 49% to 38%, Gingrich by eight, 47% to 39%, and Paul by nine, 44% to 35%.

Romney, Palin, and Huckabee lead in early Republican Primary polling.

The match-up surveys were conducted throughout January, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

Seven lesser-known candidates trail by anywhere from 10 to 17 percentage points. However, the most significant finding is that regardless of what GOP candidate is named, the president earns between 42% and 49%. This suggests the campaign is starting off in a fairly competitive environment, though much can change in the next year-and-a-half.

If the president's job approval ratings improve from this point forward, it is likely that his support will increase against all Republican candidates. If his job approval ratings fall, his numbers are likely to weaken against all potential candidates. It is reasonably safe to assume that the president's actual vote total on Election Day 2012 will be close to his overall job approval rating.

It's also worth noting that a great deal of caution must be taken in terms of interpreting individual results. It is far from clear which candidates will seek the Republican nomination and who ultimately will be nominated. At this point in 2008, everybody assumed the Democratic nominee would be Hillary Clinton, and Rudy Giuliani was leading the Republican field. One candidate on our list, Mike Pence, has already dropped out of the race. Other names will be tested in the coming weeks.

In 2004, the last election with a presidential incumbent, Howard Dean was an early front-runner. Early polling also showed him as the strongest general election contender against President Bush. However, as soon as John Kerry became the front-runner, his numbers jumped to where Dean's had been and Dean's polling slipped. It's interesting to note that Kerry trailed Bush by three points on the night he became the front-runner, and he ended up losing the election by three percentage points. In 2008, Rasmussen tracking polls showed Obama leading McCain consistently by five or six points for the first month after Hillary Clinton bowed out of the race. Obama ended up winning by seven.

Here are the head-to-head match-ups and the dates the poll was conducted.



Obama

42%

Romney

44%

Jan 3-4, 2011

Obama

49%

Palin

38%

Jan 7-10, 2011

Obama

43%

Huckabee

43%

Jan 11-14, 2011

Obama

47%

Gingrich

39%

Jan 15-16, 2011

Obama

44%

Paul

35%

Jan 17-18, 2011

Obama

47%

Pawlenty

32%

Jan 19-20, 2011

Obama

42%

Daniels

25%

Jan 21-22, 2011

Obama

45%

Thune

31%

Jan 23-24, 2011

Obama

46%

Pence

29%

Jan 25-26, 2011

Obama

42%

Cain

25%

Jan 27-28, 2011

Obama

47%

Barbour

30%

Jan 29-30, 2011

Obama

43%

Huntsman

33%

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2011



All surveys were conducted in conjunction with the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

It's important to consider timing in evaluating these results. Polls taken around the State of the Union address or the Tucson speech might reflect a modest bounce for the president. Polls taken as the crisis in Egypt intensified may reflect the opposite.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The match-up surveys were conducted throughout January, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

TOP STORIES Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Romney, Huckabee Even With Obama, Other GOP Hopefuls Trail

Snow Job By Lawrence Kudlow

Military Aid to Iceland? Most Americans Say Yes

58% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law; Most Still Expect Costs To Rise and Quality To Suffer

Viewers Pick Packers to Win Super Bowl XLV

Romney Holds Slight Edge Over Huckabee and Palin

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week's Key Polls

Obamacare: D.O.A. By Dick Morris

Obama and Reelection: One Term or Two? By Rhodes Cook

©2011 Rasmussen Reports, LLC

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement