Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama: Rasmussen Says It's a Dead Heat

Some surprise results from pollster Scott Rasmussen:

Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is -- virtually dead even.

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....

But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.

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.

The news comes via the right-wing political maven Michael Barone, who is amazed at "the specter of the incumbent president leading a fringe figure [like] Ron Paul by a statistically insignificant 1%." Note to Barone: Fringe is a relative term. If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him.

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  • ||

    The Republican National Committee would rather see Obama re-elected than put the Doctor on the ballot.

  • Qualis Artifex Pereo||

    W00t w00t!

  • Billy!||

    I don't believe it for a minute. Obama would destroy paul once people actually experienced the two side by side. I mean, I like paul, I voted for him... but he's got a little wacky in him. Obama, whatever his policies, doesn't have that edge of crazy.

  • Mike M.||

    I agree. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever in this day and age that America is going to elect a 77 year old to the White House.

    There are a lot of things I like about Ron Paul, but honestly, at this point he ought to face reality and put an end to the fanciful pipe dream.

  • ||

    I am no Ron Paul fan, but I don't see any reason why they wouldn't vote a 77 year old into the Whitehouse, especially after four years of an over grown child. Also, someone that old, could promise to just serve one term, which sounds pretty appealing.

  • Luke Johnson||

    four years

    Twelve years. Err, twenty, almost forgot Clinton.

  • Mike M.||

    I agree with you in principle, but at that age the odds of a guy becoming seriously ill or perhaps not even making it through the first term goes up significantly.

    Also, the unfortunate bottom line is that our culture doesn't like the elderly. I particularly notice this among women; about a dozen of them told me in the last election that they wouldn't vote for McCain because he was too old.

  • ||

    P.J. O'Rourke once observed, with numbers to back it up, that the female vote in America (going all the way back to Harding) has consistently gone to the candidate that women most wished they could have sex with.

  • smartass sob||

    I can believe that.

  • Mo||

    Women would rather sleep w/ John Kerry and Al Gore over George W. Bush?

  • Just Saying||

    Kerry and Gore are packing foot long trouser anacondas. W's only got a six-inch garden snake. The ladies love giant cocks. They can smell them from miles away, or even through a television screen.

  • ||

    Curious: how did O'Rourke decide which candidate women most wanted to have sex with? If he backed up his choice with numbers, I'd love to hear how those numbers were obtained.

  • guy in the back row||

    While I appreciate the anecdote, proportion voting rates increase with age. With the boomers all entering their golden years, I wouldn't make the same assumptions about younger candidates doing well.

  • ||

    You know, I've seen this in here a few times - the old "I'm no Ron Paul fan..." etc. and frankly I am baffled by it. Why, on a libertarian forum would anyone not be a fan and a supporter (excluding the non-libertarians, those who actually oppose liberty, in here)of the single national figure in the entire country espouses libertarian principles? Is it because it's not cool? Because you disagree on a single, not very relevant issue that is dear to your heart?

  • Random Dude||

    It's because their cultured leftist friends won't invite them to parties anymore DWCarkuff.

    Don't worry, it's not about principles for the cosmotarians. It's about being better than everybody else and knowing that their purist positions will guarantee that they have an eternal hideout from which to distance themselves from any form of popular politics and the "rabble."

  • cynical||

    Wait, are you suggesting John is a cosmotarian?

    I'm pretty the reasons he isn't an RP fan have more to do with pleasing GOP friends than cultured leftists.

  • ||

    Great comment. The only way to explain it is John is a statist.

  • ||

    I agree. There is absolutely no chance whatsoever in this day and age that America is going to elect a 77 year old to the White House.

    I agree. America has never had a president serving while in his 70s.

    Born: February 6, 1911 First inaugurated: January 20, 1981 Age: 69 years, 349 days

    Reinaugurated: January 20, 1985
    Age: 73 years, 340+ days

  • Billy!||

    Sorry, 1985 no longer counts as "this day and age" We are farther away from 1985 than 1985 was from Eisenhower's farewell address.

  • Lord Jubjub||

    Nice. . .now I feel old.

  • ||

    Ron Paul would be serving in his 80s, Raygun.

  • Mike M.||

    So Paul would be entering office at virtually the same exact age that Reagan was upon leaving after eight years. Uhhh, great point there dude.

  • Jeffersonian||

    How does the Prez poll against a slightly-used nail clipper?

  • ||

    I heard that the unofficial poll of Obama against the turd sandwich and giant douche has them both crushing him.

  • ||

    Isn't that all the same candidate?

  • ||

    That's not that interesting if the candidates were confined to just those two.

    At this point its Obama vs. Insert_Republican_Here. And I'm guessing he'd be in a dead heat with any name you plugged in.

  • Inkblots||

    Not according to CNN. They had a poll out yesterday poll showing Obama up 8-13 points vs. Mitt, Palin, and the Huckster.

  • Ska||

    Which just goes to show how craptacular the 2012 presidential election is looking.

  • ||

    Comparing CNN polls of one matchup to Rasmussen polls of another is going to be misleading. Rasmussen consistently skews Republican.

    And we know CNN is never going to run a poll involving Ron Paul unless they can claim it was spammed by Paulbots.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    My own polling still shows Ditka with 120% of the vote.

  • MWG||

    +1

  • ||

    Obama -- crazy politics, but sounds normal.

    Paul -- sane politics, but sounds a bit crazy.

    I'll go with door #2, Vanna.

  • ||

    I'll go with door #2, Vanna Monte.

  • ||

    Obama is shattering the Democratic coalition into little pieces. he is reducing the Democratic party to, public employees, blacks, most hispanics, and the urban doucheoisie. That is a recipe for disaster.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    I don't think you're far from wrong. David Duke predicted an Obama presidency would be the best thing to ever happen to the white nationalist movement. So far he is being proved correct.

    Look for politics to become less ideologically based, and more ethnically based. You can talk economics all you like - when push comes to shove, the most fundamental political issues are blood and soil. Expect them to become more prominent.

  • ||

    David Duke predicted an Obama presidency would be the best thing to ever happen to the white nationalist movement

    Although, oddly enough, white supremacist leaders supported Obama over McCain because they found the "race traitors" Bush and McCain worse for backing immigration and the evil Jewish wars. Or something like that. Or maybe also they felt it would help their recruiting.

  • Forrest||

    David Duke predicted an Obama presidency would be the best thing to ever happen to the white nationalist movement.

    It spawned the Tea Parties, which gives the sheeted masses the opportunity to get their racist freak on while ostensibly protesting the socialism bogeyman.

  • The Gobbler||

    A million little fibers.

  • ||

    You're a towell.

  • Inkblots||

    "the urban doucheoisie" - I very much like this phrase, and intend to make liberal use of it in future.

  • ||

    Fringe is a relative term

    To many, it's a term that applies to anyone that isn't McCain or a Democrat.

  • ||

    Today's fringe is often tommorow's mainstream. Just because it is fringe doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong.

  • ¢, applying for a job here||

    you might want to find a different word to describe him.

    And that word is "racist."

  • ||

    Imagine if Paul really did beat Obama. Think of the thumb sucking and knashing of teeth that would go on in the media after the America's first black President was beaten by an old white guy who once read a racist newsletter or something like that.

    I can't describe to you the joy I would experience over the knowledge of those assholes' suffering. It would just be amazing.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Back during the 2008 election, I was really hoping McCain would win, largely because I wanted to see which newscaster would be the first to break down in tears on air. Someone would have, you know it.

  • ||

    My bet on 1st-to-tears would be Jon Stewart.

  • Dimwit||

    I'd pit Olbermann against Stewart any day of the week on that bet.

  • ||

    Olberman is more likely to go on some kind of shooting rampage than he is to cry.

  • ||

    Chris Matthews came damn close on the night of Scott Brown's election.

  • ||

    I have a feeling you may see some tears come November. If it is a real Dem slaughter, the emotional reaction is going to be classic.

  • Inkblots||

    "Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups.
    . . .
    The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity."
    -Rep. Ron Paul

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Please nominate the racist weirdo anti-abortion nut. Obama will destroy him. You Republicans are stupid.

  • Rhine||

    The famous last words of any Bond Villain!

  • Scoch Hamilton||

    I like dick.

  • guy in the back row||

    Scotch, times change. Think of the reaction to someone saying they were nominating a half white guy back in 1984.

    Please nominate the racist weirdo anti-abortion nut half white guy. Obama Reagan will destroy him. You Republicans Democrats are stupid.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    DISREGARD THE ABOVE, I WAS BUSY SERVICING MY DAD.

  • ||

    I am, however, randy for Rand Paul.

  • ||

    Of course this is a poll done well in advance of 2012. Once they would actually start running Obama would blow him out in that race, since we know how "fleet footed" he can be. Paul wouldn't even get 2% of the vote in Welfaria. And then what happens if Mossad carries out an attack like they did in 1993 on the World Trade Center? Yup, what about the October surprises. Those hook nosed central bankers are more clever than you think.

  • Inkblots||

    "In a free society every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Rather than looking to government to correct our sins, we should understand that racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty."
    -Rep. Ron Paul

  • ||

    Ain't.
    Gonna.
    Happen.

  • ||

    You might want to italicize which of these threaded comments Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

  • Seventh Son||

    Occam's Razor--he was probably just replying to the article, not a comment about the article.

  • ||

    I think he's saying Mossad won't attack the World Trade Center again.

  • ||

    All you people sitting around declaring it oculd never happen: why don't we go out and MAKE it happen?

  • The Gobbler||

    Ever eat an entire elephant in one sitting?

  • ||

    +1
    I'm holding up my end

  • Ska||

    Tail or trunk?

  • MWG||

    +1

  • ||

    Perhaps he meant "When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top"? No wait, I guess that would be Tom Coburn.

  • Some Guy||

    Note to Barone: Fringe is a relative term. If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him.

    Who said anything about supporting him? He's "the generic other guy" against an unpopular President to 90% of those people.

  • ||

    Speaking of fringe, I see Hop Scotch showed up.

  • Scoch Hamilton||

    I'm so gay.

  • ||

    Here's the plan. Everyone start posting as Scotch Hamilton.

    Don't troll like him, say what you would normally say, just use the handle. Once it becomes impossible for him to track his trolling effectively, he'll go away.

  • Scotch Hamilton||

    Genius.

  • ||

    So if we accept the poll as the current voter mindset, then might not Paul actually win this hypothetical contest, due to the "peer pressure" factor on Republicans and conservative voters because he is a lot closer to being "their kind of guy" than Obama is? Half a loaf and all that? Even some antiwar Demos might vote for Mr. Paul. A contest for Mr. Paul would be won on the margins, perhaps, but the margins would definitely seem to have more reason to vote for Paul than Obama. At least, that's how it looks from here.

  • ||

    "If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him."

    I dunno. That may be part of the appeal.

    ...a Republican who runs against the Republicans. That's pretty fringe, and, I suspect, that may be what the people want.

  • ||

    a Republican who runs against the Republicans. That's pretty fringe, and, I suspect, that may be what the people want.

    The election of 2008 notwithstanding?

  • Gene Berkman||

    John McCain never ran against the Republicans. He loyally supported Bush's agenda except for his courageous vote agains the prescription drug benefit.

    And of course, McCain was totally on board with Bush's war. The most bipartisan thing McCain ever did was support Clinton's bombing of Yugoslavia. But backing every President in every war does not a maverick make.

    Some have even called it "The Myth of the Maverick."

  • Daniel Parisi||

    We need the wisdom of a wise old man that is not corrupted by Progressive agenda. The Romans named the Senate based on Senex which means "old man". Magistrates had clear age restrictions. This was 2000 years ago. Certainly the medical technology and thus life span has increased since then. Barack Obama is the perfect example of the inexperience and naked ambition of youth. Age, and lines and wrinkles on the face used to distinguish a man. Ageist socieities are downright pitiful.

  • Seventh Son||

    While youthful candidates (and voters) can be reasonable as well, I agree with you.

    Mind you, there are a lot of stupid old men in the senate, but they're less destructive than manipulative young men in the oval office--and Paul shows all the wisdom you'd expect from someone his age.

  • ||

    "Where'd i put that malicious piece of legislation i wanted to propose to The House today, dammit! I need a nap..." *snore*

  • ||

    If the primary sources of future federal spending weren't Social Security and Medicare, I'd believe you.

    Of course, it's possible the programs came about because of young people supported them so as to look charitable.

  • PicassoIII||

    According to exit polls in 08, the two candidates that did best with younger voters were Obama and Paul. For as many that voted for Obama on his record and positions (real or imagined) there were just as many that simply wanted to vote against the GOP and 'McSame'. Or even more cynically, be on the winning side. OTOH, most supporting Paul did so out of principle, even after it was clear that he really didn't have a chance.
    Obama has lost support amongst many that voted for him.
    Paul's influence has grown.

    He will hopefully have a much greater influence on the GOP platform come 2012. It could go either way, he may be shoved aside again or given a spot on the ticket.
    I agree that the top spot may be a hard sell, but VP to someone with a small government track record could be a winning combination.

  • ||

    be on the winning side

    Can we just put "The Winning Side" on the ballot from now on? Should pretty usefully exclude those who have no idea what they're voting on.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Note to Barone: Fringe is a relative term. If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him.

    I don't think he meant "fringe" as in, this guy only has a small amount of support out of the mainstream.

    I think he meant "fringe" as in, HOLY FUCKING SHIT I GOTTA DO MY BEST TO PROTECT THE ESTABLISHMENT AND BADMOUTH RON PAUL TO REAFFIRM THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. MAVERICK! MAVERICK! WORLD'S GREATEST DELIBERATIVE BODY! SHIT! SHIT! AAAAARRRRGGGHHHH

    In other words, he meant it as a judgmental term.

  • ||

    As I recall, people went pretty crazy for Ross Perot, his charts, and his straight-talkin' for a number of weeks... and then Admiral Stockdale, bless him, was pushed into the spotlight.

    If you actually had Barry and Dr. Paul on the same dais, don't doubt that Paul would get the edge in every way. And viewers would see it.

  • ||

    Cmon, I agree with ~80% of RP's politics but if you guys think a non-photogenic, whiny-voiced, piss-poor orator is going to beat Obama you're crazy.

  • PicassoIII||

    Sounds alot like McCain too.
    Did surprisingly well considering the anti Bush backlash built into 2008.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I agree Doc. Not to mention the MSM would rather have W back then let Paul be president. The pop culture crew (hollywood, comeidans, musicians, SNL etc) will also matter-of-factly establish him as a racist and a nutjob. Every ill informed moron you meet will be parroting their lead.

  • ||

    Not so sure about this. Jon Stewart and others were friendly to Paul during the 2008 primaries

  • ||

    Stewart et al were friendly b/c they saw RP as a kooky Ross Perot-like spoiler. JB is right. Sadly we need RP's ideas in a more saleable package. Rand?

  • Colin||

    Maybe Paul should run as a Democrat.

    Note to Barone: Obama has a sizable lead over the mainstream Republicans.

  • ||

    Not in the Rasmussen polls.

  • Hacha Cha||

    I think if Ron Paul somehow was able to get the nomination he would beat Obama. the problem is that in order to get Paul the nomination, not only do we need more people to register republican (in some states) but it would also require getting more people already in the GOP to vote for him. even if you are a libertarian and dislike Paul, you've got to admit he is the closest chance we'll have in the foreseeable future at getting someone with libertarian principles into the white house. its going to be a tough battle though to get Paul enough delegates to win the nomination but its sure as hell worth trying. I really can't see anyone, outside of the Obama nuts, wanting a second Obama term, even if it meant voting Ron Paul in. his campaign slogan still rings true, a Ron Paul presidential campaign is Hope For America.

  • Hacha Cha||

    wanted to add that if Romney or Palin get the GOP nomination we can say hello to 4 more years of Obama.

  • ||

    Unless Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake or a similar House longshot throws his name in the ring, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are the only candidates amongst all the potential Republican contenders trustworthy enough to balance the books and cut the national debt. The Republican Party has not had a balanced budget or surplus since Eisenhower. Partially this is because of their boundless support for the military-industrial complex, keeping wars off the books and don't cut spending enough to offset their tax cuts.

    The GOP has long tried to have it both ways - they are the party of cutting taxes and increasing spending, thus the party of debt and no impartial historian could ever dispute this fact. The fact that they suddenly have "rediscovered" a virtue they never believed in enough in the first place to follow through with strikes me as little more than political gamesmanship more than serious political readjustment.

    Remember - Ross Perot didn't run as a Republican for this very reason and although I don't agree with many of his ideas, that guy at least had a better grasp of real world economics than either of the major parties.

    The best hope for libertarians in the GOP would be an ascendant Gary Johnson run, and then Johnson selects Paul (or one of the other candidates that might appeal more to social conservatives) as his VP candidate.

  • Brian E||

    +1. I can't see a single way in which a Johnson campaign isn't preferable to another Paul run. New face, new name, less (deserved or undeserved) baggage. Plus, he's been a Governor, which counts for a lot.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Agreed! I backed Ron Paul in 1988 & 2008 and I think Gary Johnson is the fresh candidate we need.

    A Gary Johnson campaign would be more about the economy and domestic freedom, and less about foreign policy. And Gary's outspoken support for legalizing pot should keep some of the bigots away from the campaign.

    Also I agree with Gary Johnson more on abortion and immigration.

  • ||

    Did you notice how many votes Johnson DIDN'T get at the SRLC straw poll? Even as second place with all the Paul voters there?

  • Random Dude||

    Agreed with you and Brian E.

    I think all of this is to throw support to Gary Johnson later.

    I highly doubt Paul will run, but he's still interested in leveraging what influence he has towards a candidate which could win.

  • John||

    I have $4800 set aside for his first money bomb. Let's do this!

  • ||

    I think it's a safe bet Ron Paul is egging on Gary Johnson to run in 2012, as he seems rather unenthusiastic about running himself. Aside from Johnson being an all-around much better candidate, in the likely event that he doesn't win the nomination or general election, Senator Rand Paul can run at the end of his term in 2016.

    Until Johnson (hopefully) gets some traction after the mid-terms as the primary season starts, Paul will continue to do his thing and build what momentum he can, and then do his best to transfer as much of it as he can to Johnson if he thinks Johnson's viable. Paul might still be convinced to run himself if it doesn't look like he can do a better job of passing the torch to another candidate than he did in 2008, but that's not his first choice I think.

  • ||

    Some of the comments I'm reading are pretty disappointing. I can't believe the self-defeating attitudes I'm seeing.

    So, let me get this straight Ron Paul and his presidency would be best for this country, but you people are willing to support a lesser candidate because they might be 20 years younger?... despite the clear intellectual superiority and principles of Paul?

    Trade an "old" Ron Paul for a warmongering, spendthrift, Statist, neocon like Romney or Palin? Not me.

    Ever heard of something called "real age". Look it up. Dr. Paul is obviously younger than what the calendar says and he makes an active effort to take care of himself. Wait till Bill Clinton turns 77 in another decade or so and you'll see what I mean.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    +2

  • Hacha Cha||

    I agree, Gary Johnson is better than most politicians but he isn't more libertarian than Ron Paul. its not that I wouldn't vote for him, but if I had a choice between Johnson and Paul I would choose Paul because his principles are closer to mine.

  • ||

    Agreed Hale White. But I don't think most of the commenter's here are a good reflection of reality. Seems like most of them just want to blow off steam(especially the left leaning ones like Tony and Chad).

    How about Ron Paul now, with Gary Johnson as a running mate?

  • ||

    absolutely. Ron Paul is wise...exactly what this country needs...and he seems pretty healthy too. Ive seen 40 year olds in worse health

  • ||

    1) Paul is no Reagan.
    2) A poll this far out is meaningless.
    3) Ron Paul would be a terribly ineffective president, because it's not like his surprise election would suddenly turn a significant portion of either legislative body toward a less statist alignment.

    Ron Paul was the primer, not the engine. If there's to be any hope of a liberty-minded national leader, we'll need a Gary Johnson or some other younger, more media-savvy candidate.

  • ||

    But he'd make great use of that veto pen!

  • microwave oven||

    Ineffective in the sense that he will veto everything?

  • ||

    Yes. And good thing too. I hope he is ineffective that way.

  • microwave oven||

    Unfortunately I think 2008 was Paul's time. If it had been Paul vs Obama then, Paul would have schooled Obama on the economy. But alas, McCain got the nod and did that whole stopping of the campaign to pass the bailout bit.

  • ||

    I'm curious as to what issues Johnson is less libertarian than Paul on. Set aside Paul's exposure and possible closet following of Rothbard, when you consider the actual positions he stakes out I could easily claim Johnson is in fact more libertarian. Every issue I can think of is either a wash or something Paul panders to the right on like immigration.

  • ||

    " Note to Barone: Fringe is a relative term. If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him. "

    You go, Jesse!

  • Snaps McShitDo||

    Ron Paul competes in polls not made of straw?!!!

  • Coleman Mulkerin||

    I want Ron Paul to run again, but no he could not win....

    I was happy just to see him on stage with the jerk republicans

  • Coleman Mulkerin||

    Oh an I wish Libertarians would stop focusing on the Presidency. 2 or 3 Senators would do a lot more to stopping the biggest source of government growth.

  • ||

    I hope Dr. Paul gets the nomination, and I will vote for him whether he gets it or not. But I doubt the American people have the intelligence to wrap their head around basic economics or the integrity to create wealth rather than steal it from others.

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