Poll: Tight race for Obama vs. Romney, Santorum
March 12th, 2012
08:51 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Tight race for Obama vs. Romney, Santorum

(CNN) – President Barack Obama is running even with the top two Republican presidential candidates in hypothetical general election matchups, according to a new national survey.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday showed Obama statistically tied with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum among registered voters. Obama received 47% support to Romney's 49% and 49% to Santorum's 46%.

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The economy, budget deficit and gas prices have likely contributed to Obama's slip against his potential GOP rivals.

A similar poll conducted in February indicated the president held a 6-point advantage over Romney and an 11-point lead over Gingrich. The question was not asked in relation to Santorum, who had yet to surge to the top of national and state-wide polls at the time.

The latest poll showed 33% of registered Republicans and GOP-leaning independent voters supported Romney for the nomination, while Santorum received 29% support, followed by Newt Gingrich's 14% and Ron Paul's 12%.

Republicans polled nationally said they have more confidence in Romney than Gingrich and Santorum to address the economy, while Santorum enjoyed more trust over the other two contenders on social issues.

Although Romney continued to hold an advantage when voters were asked who can beat the president in November and who is likely to win the party's nomination, Santorum and Romney came in about even over whom best reflects the party's core values.

The Washington Post and ABC News polled 1,003 adults between March 7 and March 10 with a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Also see:

Gingrich sins 'well short of the glory of God'

Santorum's war on teleprompters

Gibbs: Kansas was 'instructive' for Romney

Former presidential candidates play pundit


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama • Rick Santorum
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. GI Joe.

    If I ever become so ignorant that my vote is determined solely by the price of gasoline, I hope they take my voter's card away from me.

    We have serious issues in this country. If you can't afford gasoline, get rid of your gas guzzler.

    March 12, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    pretty smart of the president to want high gas prices during an election year to help him get re-elected. I guess if the sometimes non thinking public would sit back and really think just WHICH party at the moment would benefit from higher gas prices just maybe they could see perhaps behind the scenes it could be the GOP pushing it. Ridiculous idea you say? Well it's just as asinine as thinking the president can control gas prices. When the DNC back in 2008 tried to pin high gas prices on President Bush the GOP rushed to his defense.....of course that was then and this is now.

    March 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt Romney can save America!!

    March 12, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    If people are worried most about the economy, then they need to look a little further than the here and now. Who can best lead the country and our economy back to prosperity? Pres. Obama has us on a course that we can see. The Republicans have a path that is not quite as clear.

    Both Romney and Santorum have proposed tax cuts that would add at least $5 trillion to our already growing debt. Both Romeny and Santorum have have suggested that we should take immediate pre-emptive action against Iran, an action that can only lead to yet another decade long, unpaid for, multi-trillion dollar war. Neither Romney or Santorum have spelled out how they would make spending cuts or increase revenues to balance their budgets. Cutting "earmarks" and other token efforsts will not balance a two trillion dollar annual deficit.

    March 12, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. The Prince of Common Cents

    And over the course of the next few days, polls will again show Obama ahead over the GOP clowns. Useless polls equals waste of time...

    March 12, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Here it comes... "they didn't poll me"... "they don't call cell phones"... "they only asked Republicans"... "how does 1,003 people polled represent 310 million"... blah, blah, blah.

    Go learn how scientific polling works and you'll get your answers, mmmmmmmkay?

    March 12, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. gt

    still along time till nov....its still about jobs...no jobs ..no second term... bet on it

    March 12, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. former democrat

    Romney hasn't even won the nomination yet but he is giving the democrats and Obama a run for their money. In November Romney will crush Obama.

    March 12, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  9. Grady

    Regular gas will be hitting an average of $4.00 a gallon soon, and when the price does come down it won't be by much. Presidents can't do anything about gas prices except be blamed for them...time for us to be looking into buying that electric car.

    March 12, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  10. Big George in Big D

    ABO!!! Nobama needs to go before he causes this country any more harm.

    March 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. GJ

    You got to be kidding me! LOL Obama will win his re-election by a land-slide.

    March 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    As long as the economy is improving, the President will get re-elected. Even if it became stagnant, he's still the best option in comparison to his opponents.

    March 12, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. Oreo, NC

    Ha! Under this article, they have WE RECOMMEND section where it shows Poll: Obama holds double digit leads over Romney and Santorum. Do you Honestly think that Romney can beat Obama with his chronic flip flopping and saying that GM should've gone bankrupt now that they're back to being the #1 carmaker in America? Its no wonder he barely won Michigan and Ohio. And Pope Santorum; forget about it! Especially after Limbaughs assault on birth control and the GOP's general war on women's rights. The message Santorum is sending in line with Limbaugh is not too appealing to independent voters.

    March 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Wake up people

    Thanks to all the lies and the driving up of the gas prices, the best President we have had in years could lose the election. It's a shame in this country we blacks have to be 3 to 4 times better than a white person to even be considered qualified. If the country gets Rommey they have no one to blame but themselves.

    March 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  15. JasonP

    Wow. Is this the stupidest country in the world or what? Go ahead. Elect a Republican. You deserve everything you get.

    March 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  16. Dwayne

    I'll believe it when I see it. The general election will be a landslide if you ask me. I don't think any of the GOP candiates stand a chance.

    March 12, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. El Flaco

    I am astonished that almost half of those polled have been brainwashed by Conservative Propaganda. The only explanation I can think of is that half of all Americans have a below-average IQ.

    Fool me once, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Fool me a hundred times over fifty years and I must be a Republican voter.

    March 12, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. Dan

    Are you kidding? This GOP field will throw this country into world war, and set human rights back to the stone age. Canada is looking better and better.

    March 12, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. paintpaintpaint

    OK, CNN, act like a responsible editor and say WHO wrote this? And really? The economy is what people are 'turning against' Obama for? I don't want to say anything too mean, but do they have the brain power of fleas? Do they FORGET that 4 years ago the entire economy was on the brink of collapse, and the herculean (i.e. really big) effort to turn multi billion dollar economy fell to Obama? And we did NOT collapse? And we are rebounding? And the jobless rate shrinks daily? And the deficit was MOSTLY grown by Bush? It makes me so sad how people cannot wrap their heads around recent history.

    March 12, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. GG

    and the wheels will continue to fall off Obama's hope wagon as the election draws closer. People realize that we can't afford 4 more years of left wing spending.

    March 12, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. JuanVonDinklus

    And next week you will all take a poll that shows him leading by 10 points. People that don't understand polling and statistics, but yet, it doesn't stop the propaganda machine from reporting it!

    March 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. Jerry

    I am not a Republican; but this lying/clueless/do nothing/full time campaigner of a president needs to go!!!

    March 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  23. JohnRJ08

    It is difficult to believe that anybody with half a brain would vote for any of these GOP candidates. One is a world-class flip-flopping moderate masquerading as a "severe conservative" who is also a pathological liar and corporate raider. Another is homophobic theocrat who knows absolutely nothing about foreign policy and is more interested in sticking his nose in every American's bedroom. Another is a serial philanderer who left the Speakership in disgrace, then became a lobbyist for two large financial institutions which he now blames for all sorts of evils. The last is lifelong John Birch Society supporter whose ideas would take the country back to pre-Civil War days and probably push the world into another Great Depression. Who in the right mind would vote for any of these people? Oh I think I get it. They hate President Obama SOOOOO much that they would vote for ANYBODY else. Not too bright.

    March 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. Dave

    Yes, it is a tight race. If the media didn't protect President Obama it would be a blow out.

    March 12, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. vbscript2

    Funny how this comes on the heels of all of those "Obama is winning the GOP primary race" articles CNN has been running for the last few weeks.

    March 12, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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