Poll: Could Trump beat Obama in 2012?
February 22nd, 2011
10:13 AM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Could Trump beat Obama in 2012?

(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.

Filed under: Donald Trump • President Obama
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Nick

    This idiot won't run and is just like Palin. I would hate to see his ugly face in anywhere near the white house.

    February 22, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Clwyd

    These polls results are an acknowledgment of the stupidity and ignorance of the American voters public!

    February 22, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    This is ALL name recognition: anyone with a clue as to how Trump has conducted himself in his public and private life would not take him seriously.

    There was a time when this country looked to the proverbial "man on a white horse" to lead us: now, we look to the reality stars, talk show hosts, and bored business leaders who dabble in politics for leadership. What does that say about us? It tells us that we worship fantasies and money, not ideals and solutions. Donald Trump is someone who encourages fantasy while pursuing an agenda that changes by the minute. His contributions to candidates show he is interested in the flavor of the month, not in pursuing serious solutions to problems affecting the country and the world.

    February 22, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. jummai yahya

    Let him run!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Mikey

    I'd like to see this meglamaniac run. I wonder what his excuse would be when he got trounced.

    February 22, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Heavensdevil

    Americans spend 90% of their time taking polls. Here's the latest: my pet rock could beat President Obama according to the sample of 10,000 stones in my garden. Within the margin of error allowed by this partisan group, it is still unknown whether a stone could be turned over to change their vote. Get a life!

    February 22, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. JustMe

    Good grief ... you have got to me kidding me. Who did they poll?? Reality TV watchers??

    February 22, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Sgt Joe

    Are you serious? What a mess that would be!

    February 22, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Indie Woman in Denver

    Give me a break! Donald Trump exemplifies the HUGE divide between the super rich and the rest of us. Regardless of whatever his policies might be, this is NOT his moment in history.

    February 22, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. MindyTerrel, Iowa

    Americans amaze me how GULLIBLE they are! I wouldnt be suprised if they voted Trump as President! So sad!

    February 22, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Jess C.

    When I look at the poll of GOP contenders I can't help but come up with one word....pathetic. The fact that Palin is even in the top is quite a sign that the party is totally screwed up and has lost its way. And for you righties who immediate tag anyone "liberal" who doesn't agree with you, I left the GOP years ago because of that kind of myopic thinking. That along with the fact that the party is getting to be more and more theocratic in philosophy....backwards. Face it, all the candidates mentioned are extreme in their beliefs and not viable leaders for this diverse country. Trump may be a shrewed businessman, but that's not enough.

    February 22, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Inmyopinion

    No, people, organizations, Unions, foreign countries like Obama because they know he is a good guy, he thinks with the heart only not a combo of his head and heart, he feels for people, he's idealistic, he's a nice guy and those feelings make him weak and these people play on that weakness, kindness, good guy to give them the goodies, money, etc.... that they want at any cost, even if it puts our country into deep debt, bankruptcy. People play on Obama's good heart, they take advantage of him and he doesn't know how to balance the heart with his head.

    February 22, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Real Patriots Do MORE than Salute the flag, They educate themselves

    Laughable. Do it Donny boy. Enter the race and see just how full of crap that poll is. Doony would get trounced by epic proportions.

    February 22, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    [Poll: Could Trump beat Obama in 2012? ]

    Bring it ON!!! CNN, keep filling the "electric slide" head of Trump's into believing he can beat President Obama!!!

    February 22, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. blake

    In order to secure a future for our children and grandchildren, Obama must be defeated. But Donald Trump is a publicity hog and a joke.

    February 22, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. julibear

    I know Republicans keep saying we need a businessman in the White House, but a business person is only concerned with one thing: the bottom line. Business types tend to cut workers in the name of profit. Our president needs to understand there is an awful lot of value in things that don't benefit the bottom line, such as libraries, schools, parks, and basic services such as well-baby care, and preventative medical and dental care. Quit spending money on the destruction of the Muslim world and build our world here at home!!

    February 22, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Sammy Sosa

    Everyone knows what an idiot Sarah Palin is, we have been exposed to 2.5 years of her nonsense. All we need is 3 months to vet Trump and his bankruptcies before the polls turn around.

    February 22, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Fair is Fair

    Don't look good for Obama... don't look good at all. But all you sheep can keep blogging about imaginary landslides, 'kay?

    February 22, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Anyone can beat Obama. He has been a complete and total disaster, in the same manner as was Jimmy carter.

    February 22, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. maf

    Go ahead Donald, jump in, the water's fine!!! Bring your bully mentality to the most difficult job on the planet!
    The people will gladly tell you . . . "you're FIRED!!"

    February 22, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Please go away

    Trump can't even beat that ginger cat sitting on his head.

    February 22, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Roman

    That's because people haven't heard Trump's position on ANYTHING. Wait till they see what this egomaniac is all about.

    February 22, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    My question is how many of those 918 people are literate beyond a third grade level, and still have their front teeth? The old saying was "There are lies, damn lies and statistics" I would like to add a fourth to this category – polls. Like statistics, most pollsters seem to collect enough evidence from a target audience that will always appear to support whatever hypothesis they want to present.

    February 22, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Put him out there! The more people running the more people will see that anyone is welcome to run, no matter how unqualified. Has anyone told him ne can't put his name in neon on the White house?
    With every new named mentioned, Republicans show their tent is that of a circus.

    February 22, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. Tony in Maine

    Don't trust the results too much. That's basically name recognition and the influence of his show The Apprentice in which he destroys yuppie's dreams...come to think of it...

    The idea that a businessman has any more credentials to be President than a farmer is foolishness propagated by Republicans. The business model emphasizes profit as the goal. The government model is all about service. Theoretically, profit follows good service, but American businessment are trained to follow the accounting model calling for high short term net with no thought to what they're doing to the company. a perfect example was Wall St investment bankers in 2007. Of course, they knew the people would bail them out when the bubble burst.

    February 22, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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