Mitt Romney has now jumped to his biggest lead ever over President Obama in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. It’s also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over the incumbent in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.
The latest national telephone survey finds that 45 percent of likely U.S. voters favor the former Massachusetts governor, while 39 percent prefer the president. Ten percent like some other candidate in the race, and 6 percent are undecided.
A week ago, Romney trailed Obama 44 percent to 41 percent. The week before that, he held a slight 43 percent to 42 percent edge over the president. The two candidates have been essentially tied in regular surveys since January, but Romney remains the only GOP hopeful to lead Obama in more than one survey.
Despite Romney’s current six-point lead, his latest level of support is in line with the 38 percent to 45 percent he has earned in matchups with the president this year. However, Obama’s 39 percent is a new low: Prior to this survey, his support has ranged from 40 percent to 46 percent in matchups with Romney.
A generic Republican candidate holds a narrow lead over the president again this week -- as has been the case all but three times in weekly tracking since late May. Obama leads all the other named GOP candidates by as little as seven and as much as 15 percentage points.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain have all surged ahead of the president at one point but did not maintain those leads. Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul are running one-two in Rasmussen Reports’ most recent survey of the Republican race in Iowa as next Tuesday’s caucus approaches.
Romney also has more second-choice support than any of the other candidates among likely caucus-goers. Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers from Iowa at noon Eastern Time today.
The national survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Dec. 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
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