Ron Paul Polls Nearly as Well as Romney in a General Election Against Obama

Now that Santorum has exited the Republican primary it is all but a certainty that Mitt Romney will get the Republican nomination.  However, it is still an interesting statistic that the supposedly unelectable Ron Paul is polling just a few percentage points behind Romney in a head-to-head contest against President Obama in a general election.

Real Clear Politics shows the following polling data for Romney against Obama in a general election:

Poll Date Sample Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
RCP Average 3/20 – 4/9 48.5 43.2 Obama +5.3
Rasmussen Tracking 4/7 – 4/9 1500 LV 45 45 Tie
ABC News/Wash Post 4/5 – 4/8 RV 51 44 Obama +7
IBD/CSM/TIPP 3/30 – 4/5 816 RV 46 38 Obama +8
USA Today/Gallup 3/25 – 3/26 901 RV 49 45 Obama +4
CNN/Opinion Research 3/24 – 3/25 925 RV 54 43 Obama +11
McClatchy/Marist 3/20 – 3/22 846 RV 46 44 Obama +2

They show the following data for Ron Paul against Obama in a general election:

Poll Date Sample Obama (D) Paul (R) Spread
RCP Average 3/10 – 4/1 47.2 39.6 Obama +7.6
Rasmussen Reports 3/31 – 4/1 1000 LV 43 40 Obama +3
McClatchy/Marist 3/20 – 3/22 846 RV 50 40 Obama +10
PPP (D) 3/15 – 3/17 900 RV 46 43 Obama +3
Reason-Rupe 3/10 – 3/20 1200 A 47 37 Obama +10
FOX News 3/10 – 3/12 912 RV 50 38 Obama +12

Granted Romney has a statistical lead over Dr. Paul in the polls – Obama leads Dr. Paul by an average of 7.6% across all the polls, while Obama enjoys only a 5.3% lead over Mitt Romney.

But consider the amount of media attention that has been paid to the Romney campaign.  Consider the amount of talk-time given the putative Republican nominee in all of the various debates that have taken place, all of which featured Romney center stage with Dr. Paul relegated to a far corner of the stage.

In contrast, the Paul campaign has been all but ignored by the media.  News commentators and political analysts have openly discounted his campaign and have called him unelectable.  In one 90-minute debate he had a whopping 89 seconds of talk time in the entire program – the broadcast channel that hosted the debate justified this by saying that they weighted the amount of time for each candidate based on where the candidates were in the polls, but in fact Dr. Paul was pulling third place in most polls in what was then a field of eight candidates.

One wonders where Dr. Paul’s polling numbers would be if there had not been a concerted effort in the media and by the Republican party to marginalize his campaign.  What the polls show is that despite the best efforts of the “establishment,” Ron Paul is – and always has been – a serious candidate for the highest office in the land.

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