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. a disgrace

    oil speculators are simply pushing up oil prices to cash in one more time before america elects its first president in four years....

    March 12, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  2. matt

    the GOP deserves a one way ticket out of this country... their behavior since the death of Ted Kennedy has been the most childish and insolent in this country since the civil war...

    March 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. idiocracee

    Who exactly are we polling these days?

    March 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Debra

    Apparently they don't teach much in Michigan where the 'Proud Wolverine' doesn't know that it is President Obama NOT 'Barry'. But when you're raised with little education and have no sense or tradition, you'll say about anything. It's how this country has gotten off track. Good going Republicans, the party of no respect for America, women, or it's traditions.

    March 12, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Santorum ought to run as Pontiff-in Chief

    Wishful thinking GOP!

    March 12, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. mikle

    Obama will loose big time.

    March 12, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. bspurloc

    .
    the GOP hate our way of life and the freedom of women. the gop has adopted the christian taliban as its policy makers
    .

    March 12, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Bessy

    Give me a break ! The Washington Post ! Nothing but lies in that rag.
    Since the polls showed he was ahead last week I'll stick with those numbers.

    March 12, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    bottom line to me with polls is they are like the weather, wait a bit and it'll change. So Romney going down eating grits and adapting a Southern accent now has him ahead of Obama or Rick Santorum winning Kansas a state nobody seemed to care about and him back tracking on his snob and barf comments has him closing in on the president? These polls even the ones that showed the president in almost double digit leads about a week ago are MEANINGLESS all that counts is what lever you pull in Nov.

    March 12, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. SpaceGuy

    This just shows how out-to-lunch the purported American Voter is. This presidential race CANNOT BE a close race because President Obama and the Republicans are so far apart on just about every issue. This election must be a wide margin of 10% or more, not a few %. If it is another close presidential race, then Voters no longer have the ability to think clearly about how to solve national problems and only go for the sound-bytes. President Obama has nothing to do with todays gas prices, and the Canadian pipeline output, if built, is already promissed for foreign markets and will not help domestic pricing. Dont people understand this?????

    March 12, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Irma in North Carolina

    you know darn well the media is going to predict the out come of the election. There must be a lot of republicans getting polled here and that work in the media. I think the media should keep their noise out of this and let the people deceide.

    March 12, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. lefty avenger

    The GOP want an American Taliban oligarchy government and the people of the South and Heartland are responding with overwhelming support.

    March 12, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Holla

    This poll doesn't make sense to me at all. Inconsistency!

    March 12, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. Dennis

    It's all about the economy. Obama can't even spell the word. First indication that he had no clue was making Geitner the Treasury Secretary. Geitner was a big part of the problem

    March 12, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Senor Ed

    If people think electing Republicans will cause lower gas prices then the average voter is even dumber than I thought possible. 8 years under Shrub wasn't quite enough time for them to finish off the middle class ... another 4 should just about do it.

    March 12, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Dee G.

    One Poll? Ha! Tell them to go take a gander at a few more polls because you can't just pick and choose which poll you're going to report on. Go to realclearpolitics.com, it will show you ALL the polls, including ones that show the President ahead by as much as 10 points.

    March 12, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Amisha

    OBAMA 2012!!!! I support MY President. Obama 08 and 2012!!!!!! That is all... :-)

    March 12, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. NewsGig

    Poll is just a matter of luck; who knows if the 1003 out of 350 million were mostly democrats or republican. Sometimes poll works at time they don't work. We've seen that over and over again. Obama will win regarless come november. You can take my word for it.

    March 12, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    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?
    -------------–
    When you cannot attack the other person's facts, then attack their character.
    I have always thought of you as a leader, not a cheerleader.

    March 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Derrique3

    Uh, oh. What happened to your 'lead', Obama?

    March 12, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. Former Democrat but never again

    People who say that Obama is a good president probaly think that Jimmy Carter was a good president too.
    What a joke. Lets just get Obama out of office and hopefully we can repair the damage that has already been done.

    March 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Four and The Door

    Considering that the Republican candidates are in the middle of ongoing primaries where they are campaigning strictly to their base, these results look promising for a big Republican win. Once Mitt Romney has the nomination locked up, he will be able to put more effort into campaigning to the general population of voters, something Obama has been doing for quite some time now.

    March 12, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  23. pb

    When one scans the Wash Post and reads the doom and gloom on Pres O, one has to say "whoa" and remember this is a far right newspaper. This is the way of the media and innocents are easily sucked in.

    March 12, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. Gerry

    Wishful thinking GOP. As long as your party lets the weirdo ding dongs and wanna be dictators who hate women run your party and you keep signing those Norquist promises, we the voters will keep voting against you. Your don't even represent the REAL republicOn party. You represent some far right bunch of crazy people.

    March 12, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    GI Joe

    "If you can't afford gasoline, get rid of your gas guzzler."
    ---------
    Joe... I would venture to say that while I'm certain there are many people driving "more car (meaning larger and less efficient)" than they need to, you should consider the tradesmen (plumbers, electricians, carpenters), the self-employed, and farm workers who need pickup trucks, box trucks, and tractors to carry their gear and to do their job. What about those folks? They're getting hurt BIG TIME. And whether you want to believe it or not, they cannot do without theur "gas guzzlers"... and are just going to pass their increased expense on to the rest of us. Not a good thing for any sitting president.

    March 12, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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