NBC/Marist Poll: Ron Paul Best Chance to Beat Obama

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Ron Paul 2012

Among all competitors for the Republican nomination, 2012 Presidential candidate Ron Paul has the best chance of defeating President Obama in a head-to-head race, according to a new poll.

The NBC News/Marist Poll has Ron Paul polling in the top three among likely Republican caucus goers. Paul places third with 17 percent behind Mitt Romney in second place and Newt Gingrich in first place with 18 and 26 percent, respectively. Among the larger pool of potential Republican caucus goers, Paul again places third with 16 percent, behind Romney and Gingrich with 18 and 25 percent, respectively.

Paul polling in the top three in Iowa is a conventional outcome, yet the NBC News/Marist Poll reveals some interesting facts about the 12-term Texas Congressman’s competitiveness against Obama:

President Obama defeats all GOP competitors except for Ron Paul in a hypothetical matchup; and

42 percent of registered voters in Iowa support Ron Paul and 42 percent back Obama, with 16 percent undecided; and

Ron Paul leads Obama 42 to 35 percent among independent voters and attracts 15 percent of Iowa’s Democrats; and

Ron Paul also leads Obama by 14 percentage points among voters under 45 years of age.

A Des Moines Register poll released yesterday shows Paul polling a strong second with 18 percent among likely Republican caucus goers, close behind Newt Gingrich who earned 25 percent. With 16 percent of the vote, Mitt Romney was the only other candidate to attract double-digit support.

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