President Barack Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 46 percent to 40 percent in the latest national Reason-Rupe poll of 1,200 adults. With independent voters, Obama holds a 12-point advantage over Romney (47-35).
Rep. Ron Paul and former Sen. Rick Santorum both trail Obama by 10 points, 47 percent to 37 percent. However, Paul performs better than Romney and Santorum among independents, trailing Obama 45-40.
In a hypothetical three-way presidential race with Paul running as an independent candidate, Obama's support drops to 41 percent, but he still easily tops Romney's 30 percent and Paul's 17 percent.
In another three-way race, Obama beats Santorum 42 percent to 27 percent, with Paul getting 18 percent of the vote as an independent.
Full poll results found here.
Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here.
Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.