Ron Paul Most Likely to Beat Obama in General Election

Paul leads Obama 42 percent to 35 percent among independent voters.

Daily Caller
December 14, 2011

With less than a month before the Iowa caucus, GOP presidential candidate and  former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has surged into the lead, but  Texas Rep. Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who could best President  Obama, a new Iowa poll says.

According to the latest NBC/Marist poll, Gingrich is the first choice among  26 percent of Republican caucus-goers, followed by former Massachusetts Gov.  Mitt Romney with 18 percent and Paul with 17 percent.

The poll represents a dramatic shift in the race. In October, Romney led the  field in Iowa with 26 percent, while Gingrich only received a paltry 5 percent  of the vote.

With Herman Cain’s announcement on Saturday that he would suspend his  campaign, the NBC/Marist poll predicted that Gingrich’s support will increase to  to 28 percent, while Romney and Paul tie at 19 percent.

“As the roller coaster picks up speed in the month leading up to the Iowa  caucus, Newt Gingrich has moved into the lead car,” said Dr. Lee M.  Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, in  a statement. “Hold on tight for any further twists and turns.”

However, the poll also says Paul is the candidate best suited to face Obama  in an election.

Against Paul, 42 percent of registered voters in Iowa support Obama and the same number — 43 percent — support Paul. Paul’s popularity among independents could be a  crucial advantage. Paul leads Obama 42 percent to 35 percent among independent  voters, according to the poll, and he also attracts 15% of Iowa’s Democrats. Not  to mention that 16 percent of voters were undecided.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul has  surged to second place in a new Iowa poll of likely Republican caucus goers,  just one percent behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the current  front-runner.

Paul has consistently placed in the top tier of Republican presidential  candidates in recent Iowa polls. With Iowans heading to vote in only three  weeks, Gingrich holds a razor-thin 22–21 lead.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found weakening support for  Gingrich among self-identified tea partiers, and a dramatic rise in Paul’s  favorability rating.

“There are a lot of parallels between Paul’s strength in Iowa and Barack  Obama’s in 2008 — he’s doing well with new voters, young voters, and  non-Republican voters,” said PPP in an explanation of its poll’s findings.

Paul has taken aim at Gingrich with an ad alleging “serial hypocrisy” for  changing his positions on a variety of issues, including health care and global  warming. The  ad also targeted him for accepting millions from Freddie Mac, and  for calling a budget proposal from Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan “right-wing social  engineering.”

Gingrich’s favorability rating has declined 19 points among Iowans since  last week.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney placed third in the poll, at 16  percent. He was followed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann at 11 percent, Texas  Gov. Rick Perry at 9 percent, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 8  percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 5 percent.

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