Poll: Obama bests GOP frontrunners
February 6th, 2012
08:53 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Obama bests GOP frontrunners

(CNN) - President Barack Obama tops the Republican presidential frontrunners in hypothetical head-to-head matchups, according to a new survey.

The ABC/Washington Post Poll indicated Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney, 51% to 45%, among registered voters. The new figure is the first time Obama cracked 50% against the former Massachusetts governor in the survey. He received 46% to Romney's 47% in mid-January.

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It appears Obama was also aided by an increase in support among independent voters, who were split 48% for Obama and 47% for Romney. The former Massachusetts governor held a 12-point edge in January.

The new figures showed Romney's business background, which he often touts on the campaign trail, is a positive element of his candidacy. He held a narrow edge over Obama on who is best to handle the economy.

The president also bested Gingrich, 54% to 43%, among registered votes, although it was a smaller margin than the 15% by which Obama led the former House speaker in January.

In an interview on Sunday the president said he deserves a second term. The poll found 49% of registered voters agreed, while 49% said he does not deserve a second term.

But the president did not fare as well among independent voters, who will likely play a significant role in the 2012 elections.

Obama received a 47% approval rate among the key voting bloc and a 50% disapproval figure.

The poll questioned 1,000 adults between Wednesday and Saturday with a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

- CNN's Gabriella Schwarz and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Also see:

Nevada runners up, Paul and Santorum vow to continue campaigns

Obama: Israel undecided on attack against Iran

Gingrich outlines a Southern revival strategy

Ohio newspaper endorses Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Polls • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. James PDX

    While about half of independent voters may disapprove of Obama's performance so far, they know this is a prime example of the old cliche "Better the devil you know..." Gingrich is a criminal and prolific hypocrite. Romney is a flip flopper who will do and say anything he thinks will get him elected where he will continue to corrupt our government so that he and his cronies can get richer at the expense of the lower and middle classes. Paul, while he has some interesting ideas, is a proven racist and a bit of a nutjob. Santorum said he wants all civil laws to be the same as the laws of HIS religion, so enough said there. No county with anywhere near a median IQ would ever elect any of these horrid candidates. So, unless we're really that mentally challenged here in the US, I guess we're stuck with Obama again with hopes that he'll do more when he no longer has to worry about getting elected to a 2nd term.

    February 6, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Puddin

    Scott, I agree with you completely! Romney does NOT love this country; otherwise he would want to support it. Instead, he's mega-rich and pays a tad more than 13% taxes and hides the rest of it in other countries. Romney only LOVES what his country can do for him....make him rich! Remember John F. Kennedy ("dont ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country)." Think! This country is similar to a church; if people don't give some money to their church, it won't run efficiently or last long. And Romney isn't the only one; Gingrich is the same kind of opportunist. President Obama's heart is in the right place, and most of the Repubs and some of the Dems have been obstructionists and have driven this country to the brink of disaster. I expect the Repubs to behave as they do....stick together, but those Dems who aren't sticking together with their president are a disappointment. Who, in their right mind, would want the likes of Romney or Gingrich running this country? The answer to our problem is for everyone of us to stick together and COOPERATE.

    February 6, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. rs1201

    Obama stands for the redistribution of wealth by taxing people making $200k to high heaven and the destruction of the State of Israel replaced by a palestinian state....get used to the idea...obama is going down come Nov 2012!!!!

    February 6, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. mojo

    No one except the extreme right of the Republican base wants to go back to the way things were the last time the Republicans were in the White House. Obama is going to win one of the most lopsided victories in Presidential election history.

    February 6, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. James PDX

    This whole 2 term limit thing seems to be an awful system. What a president accomplishes seems to be directly related to how it will affect his reelection at the time. So how about this option. 1 term, but you can run for either a 4, 6 or an 8 year term. And the voters vote decide if they want to vote for you based on the number of years you're running for. So you may have a 4 year Republican running against an 8 year Democrat. Thank about it. Or you can just elect me emperor and I promise to fix everything.

    February 6, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Gurgi

    Polls are like opinions, which are like......Everyone has one and they all stink.

    February 6, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. macbil

    OBAMA WILL BE RE-ELECTED. And Romney will help him. How many times can this guy sound like an out-of-touch rich guy. So Romney gets elected a combination of his ignorance about the "real America" and the tea partiers in Congress telling him what to do = disaster. They'll do exactly what Bush did: cut taxes for the rich, drive up the debt, de-regulate the big banks and then we'll have the 2008 financial crisis all over again, except next time it will be worse!!!!

    February 6, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    The Real Tom Paine wrote:

    The opposition, Scott, seems to think that everything could have been turned around in 3 months if only the governemnt did nothing:
    ----------
    Exactly. The Republican administration did nothing when the foreclosure crisis hit.. The Republican administration did nothing when the recession hit, except contemplate another tax cut for the wealthy. The Republican adminstration did nothing for the auto companies, but they did act to save investment companies.

    Romney's answer to the foreclosure crisis is to let people get put out of their homes. So that private investors can buy them up cheaply and rent them out, probably to former homeowners. The Republican answer is not the American dream. Theirs is the plutocrat's dream.

    February 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. NickAnast

    Interesting how conservatives dismiss any polls that show Obama beating Romney but boast about polls that show Romney beating Obama. And if you're wondering why Ron Paul wasn't included in the head-to-head matchup, (a) he won't be the nominee; and (b) in polls that did include him, Obama led him by a wider margin than he led Romney.

    Romney is the only candidate who can beat Obama. And only two things can save him at this point: (1) all of the Super PAC money that will be spent against Obama and (2) chaos caused by the voter restriction laws in a handful of swing states. On the issues, Obama wins.

    And if the die-hard anti-Romney faction of the GOP gets behind a conservative tea-party-type independent candidate (Sarah Palin, anyone?), then Obama could very well win in an electoral landslide and carry a bunch of Dems into Congress on his coattails.

    February 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. TY

    Obama has been a terrible president. Unfortunately he will probably beat the GOP opposition because they will nominate a terrible candidate.

    February 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. TwM

    I Did not notice anyone mentioning the Jobs that Obama has shipped to Brazil rather than have it built here. W/o a bid :)
    All the bad of Obama will come out in the next few months, and he has nothing good to stand on. One and done.

    February 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Dr Knowitall

    Yeah right ! I believe anything a Poll says.
    Why do you hucksters never publish the full contents of the poll l?
    I for one would like deeper analysis, for example, of the 1000 people;
    How many registered voters were there ?
    How many Democrats ?
    How many Republicans ?
    How many Independents ?
    What age groups each were in?

    February 6, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  13. freelance

    Even if the unemployment rate drops to ZERO, we republicans firmly believe that Obama is the worst president. Republicans are the only true patriots. liberals suck!!

    February 6, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Mitt Gingrich

    In his interview Obama said he deserved a second term. Is he really going to fool Americans that he'll be able to do something positive for our country if we give him a second chance? What kind of platform is that to run on. "America, I know I promised change, and for most of you, the past four years has been a negative change, but believe me when I say to you, I have learned from my mistakes and this time will know how to lead America." Right. Give me a break! All Obama did is make America a weaker nation! And he'll continue to do that if we let him. Let's get someone in there who actually knows how to lead this country. At this point just about any other candidate would be better than Obama. Heck, I'd rather give Palin a shot than see Obama in there for a second term.

    February 6, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Katahdin

    President Obama has conducted himself with honor and supreme dignity against the screaming, frothing GOP hordes. It's a rule of life that you don't put crazy people in charge of anything important.

    February 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    the republicans don't even realize they're being played a fool!
    obama has been gladly playing rope a dope for the past two years, most of the republican opposition to obama is based on fantasy and outright lies, like he's a muslim or he was born in kenya or he's some sort of communist.

    When it comes time to debate with obama, republicans will be tired from swinging at him with all those ineffective attacks, they'll be demoralized because they will finally realize their tactics aren't working like they were hoping, and it'll be easy as pie for obama to counter and deliver the knockout blow with basic, easy to google facts about his performance.

    I'm already calling the fight, the winner, by KO, the defending champion of the United States, president barack obama!

    February 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    President Barack Obama is doing a outstanding JOB as President of America. Keep us the good work Mr President

    February 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. strangerq

    Same thing happened when the polls showed Obama defeating McCain and Palin.

    Lots of denial, most of it almost child like in it's irrationality.

    Fact is Obama is not only defeating GOP but pulling away.

    If the economy continues to rebound the GOP is finished.

    Some GOP strategists are already looking at how to spin their defeat into a rebound in 2016.

    February 6, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. dmm

    Dean: "Early polls are like liberals...useless."

    No, people who are hyperpartisan (which the founding fathers warned against), who are divisive (a nation divided against itself cannot stand), and who do not understand what a democratic republic is about (the diversity that comes from freedom) are useless. No one is perfect, no one. No one view is perfect. There are extremists among all, conservatives, liberals, etc. One view, one party – that's dictatorship, tyranny, communism, and not the freedom of a democratic republic. Hyperpartisianship is actually anti-American.

    February 6, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. dsptchr645

    I would really like to see a poll of who military personnel support...especially a poll of those deployed anywhere in the world, not just combat zones.

    February 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Polls are nice...aren't they?
    The only poll that counts is your vote.
    May God continue to bless and keep President Obama.
    Best Super Bowl commercial, by the way, IMO: Clint Eastwood/Chrysler, for obvious and PARTISAN reasons! lol!

    February 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Obama coming in November 2012....

    February 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. Randy J

    I read above that the more the people know about Mitt the more they'll hate him. I find it interesting as I see him as George Soros does, just a carbon copy of Obama. I feel the same way, the more I got to know Obama the more I realized how stupid this guy is and how little he really knows about governing. At least Mitt has some experience, but I'm for a man who knows where he stands on issues and Ron Paul is the only man that backs up what he says with his actions. Go Ron, Go!

    February 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    You are right, Gurgi, which is why I did not comment on the poll. They are useless, except for a week or two prior to the election, and even then they are usually wrong.

    February 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. sck

    The GOP is in the same place as the Democrats in 2004. They have no good candidate to beat a moderately-vulnerable president. I wish Hillary was younger for 2016.

    February 6, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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