Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the only Republican presidential contender most voters view as having a chance to defeat President Barack Obama.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey
released today found that 53 percent of likely U.S. voters believe that Romney is at least somewhat likely to beat Obama in November, while 38 percent say that is unlikely.
Broken down, the findings of the Jan. 5-6 survey of 1,000 likely voters show that 26 percent say Romney is very likely to win, vs. just 11 percent who say he is not at all likely to defeat Obama.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who has moved into second place among Republican voters nationally, Rasmussen notes, now also is viewed by all voters nationwide as the second-strongest potential challenger to Obama. Just over 40 percent think Santorum is at least somewhat likely to defeat the president, but 50 percent say that’s unlikely. This includes 14 percent who see a Santorum win as very likely, compared with 23 percent who say that is not at all likely to occur, the survey found.
Meanwhile, 34 percent of voters feel that Republicans’ current third-place choice, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, is likely to beat the president, with 13 percent who feel it is very likely. But 60 percent say a Gingrich victory is unlikely, including 29 percent who think it’s not at all likely, according to the Rasmussen poll.
Even more voters see a win by Texas Rep. Ron Paul or former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as unlikely.
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