(CNN) – The notion of Donald Trump running for president is far-fetched to be sure, but a new poll released Tuesday suggests the real estate mogul and perpetual publicity hound could just beat President Obama.
A new survey from Newsweek and The Daily Beast indicates President Obama is ahead of Trump by only two percentage points, 43-41, well within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. In fact, Trump fares far better against Obama than Sarah Palin, who would lose to Obama by 11 points, 51-40, according to the poll.
Trump also performs roughly as well as former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is 2 points behind Obama in the survey, 49-47 percent. Mike Huckabee, another former presidential candidate, does best against the president in the poll: both are tied at 46 percent.
Trump, as in previous election years, has repeatedly said he is interested in running for president. But the famous billionaire received a mixed reception at a recent gathering of thousands of conservatives and he must contend with previous stances that included support for abortion rights and universal health care. He's also given money to several Democrats in the past and was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton during her bid for the White House.
Still, the new survey indicates Trump is in the high single digits among Republicans when it comes to their choice of the GOP presidential nominee – ahead of a string of more bona fide conservatives like Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, and Mitch Daniels. Of course, Trump's sky-high name ID likely has something to do with that.
In fact, only three candidates are ahead of Trump in the GOP presidential race – Romney at 19 percent, Huckabee at 18 percent, and Palin at 10 percent.
The poll, conducted between February 12-15, surveyed 918 likely voters and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.