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. angel916

    Listent the washington post the most conservative news . Figures. I am starting to realize why people are starting more and more make fun of cnn. Your reporting has is all over the place

    March 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. GOP Hate America

    Im voting for Obama

    March 12, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Obama 2012!

    Okay last week CNN reported that the POTUS was double digits ahead. And now he is in a tight race and even behind?! Who are they asking or are they asking the same question unitl they gett the poll numbers they want?!

    March 12, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. Bill

    Those aren't very good numbers for a sitting presicent.

    March 12, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. DaveC

    Yeah right. Last week it was a double digit lead for Obama. This week it is a statistical tie. All this shows is that it depends on who you poll.

    March 12, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Bill

    Make that "president".

    March 12, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  7. Proud Worlverine

    The latest Rasmussen poll shows Barry significantly behind Romeny AND Santorum – there is hope for this country yet !

    March 12, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Tim

    Good grief! Every couple of weeks another poll comes out contradicting the last one. Do we get anything worthwhile out of this information? It seems to provide fodder for these politician's supporters to exclaim, "See look, my guy is ahead!"
    The media provides a disservice to it's audience with this junk. Poll in September or October when it may actually have value.

    March 12, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Russ

    As kids, the bully in the neighborhood always felt my brothers and I where each easy targets. My brothers and I where always fighting between ourselves. So it was always felt anyone could run rough shod over any one of us. Divide and concur! They quickly learned it, didn't work like that. As soon as an outsider tried to split one of us off and have some fun, he quickly found instead of one to pick on, he had 3 to fight. Often, all at the same time. So consider this, while we Republicans right now fight amongst ourselves, on election day, there will be one for all in the Republican party, and we'll be all for one in the Republican party. The democrats will NOT be able to divide and concur.

    March 12, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  10. larry august

    The Washington post, well, that says it all, just more lies

    March 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. SNAPPA

    I somehow doubt it, I think President Obama will be relected by a landslide. Could be one of the most lopsided elections ever. This man is a good president despite all the spin that has been put on his presidency. I have never been asked my opinion on these polls I'm not sure who they ask. I will vote for President Obama for good reasons my number one reason:

    OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD!!!

    March 12, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. John

    How could those clowns even come close to Obama? That shows us how much trouble the US is in, that enough of us favor right-win lunatics over this guy.

    March 12, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Jeb

    President Obama, your issue can be boiled down to two words: gas prices. Start paying attention to rising gas prices now (you are already a month late to the game on this topic). Stop trying to shove abortion pills down the public's throat and block pipelines that will provide domestic sources of oil. You really should have a sit-down with Bill Clinton. He would be all over the gas prices and would have never stepped into these left-wing quagmires.

    March 12, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Biggge

    This must have been a Stevie Wonder poll, I dont believe it is that close.....lol

    March 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Rashida

    Republican leaning Independents? This is a no brainer.

    March 12, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. paul

    I wonder if they ask any women to vote in this poll? With the Republican attack on women's healthcare in the last year I can't imagine any woman voting for a republican. Imagine what will happen if they receive a "mandate".

    March 12, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Fla Pete

    I'm sick of these so called polls.They don't say where they're taken,who is being polled,etc.The polls change like the weather,give it 5 minutes,it'll be different.The economic air surrounding these issues really hasn't changed overnight.People ,mostly Democrates are sick with this on going clown show.Just let the process be over and lets get on with this election.Most republicans agree with me because 98% of them can't make a clear decision on who they want to run against POTUS Obama.It doesn't matter,because after the first debate people will clearly see the ptofessionalism the incumbent holds.POTUS Obamas political machine really hasn't started,so these republican candidates don't have any idea what's in store for them..The incumbent has a well organized,well oiled machine,so watch out when he does...

    March 12, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Peter

    What? 3% over Santorum? This poll sounds flawed. Who was polled and what were the questions?

    March 12, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  19. rtbrno65

    If the current conditions are the same or worse in November as they are now, Obama is done. I still think once we get to the actual election and get to the debates, enough people will be willing to hold their noses and vote for Obama to get him reelected. The gas prices are expected to start going down too, which will help him. Nonetheless, it's going to be a tough sell because the country is not perceived as being any better now than it was when Obama took over.

    March 12, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. Scot

    When will America grow up and see that our economy is getting better and our standing in the international community is the best it has been for years, While I would prefer us out of the middle east this President has done a great job in handling what was an impossible job given to him. Give him anoth four years to finish what he has started and quit listening to those that have a moneyed interest in getting him out ! I am on of the 5% ' s so I know my taxes will go up !!!!

    March 12, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Cynic

    "Santorum and Romney came in about even over whom best reflects the party's core values."

    These two people are quite different in what they represent. If these two both "reflect the party's core values," one can easily understand why the GOP is deeply divided and in search of its soul.

    The GOP has become so extremist in its positions that an Obama win in November looks very likely, despite this poll (which conflicts with last week's poll which indicated that Obama had a strong lead over the GOP candidates.)

    When candidates have to confess their sins and describe how short they have fallen from God's glory, you have to wonder who killed our republic and replaced it with a theocracy.

    March 12, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Demswin2012

    I absolutely do not agree

    The MSM is controlling the news cycle again

    March 12, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Pips

    Mitt *is* Obama. They are the same person. Same policies. Same issues.

    March 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Santorum would not wear a suit in the White House. Instead, he said he would sign an Executive Order requiring all future U.S. Presidents including himself, to wear a pale bluish-white backwards-collared shirt to represent blue-collar workers and white to represent clergy. This would be the official joining of both Church and State to oversee the affairs of all Americans and forcing us all to accept its Papal Authority in all state, local, federal and personal private matters. Of course the U.S. Constitution would have to be burned first before this could go into effect.

    March 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. Honestuck

    The American electorate has always voted against their own self interest. There would be no contest if Obama was white.

    March 12, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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