Election 2012: Today's Rasmussen Poll

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2012/election_2012_barack_obama_42_ron_paul_41

Barack Obama 42%
Ron Paul 41%

Michael,

  I think the fact that Ron Paul is trailing Barack Obama by only one point in a hypothetical 2012 matchup is excellent news. Because I'll bet most of the 11% who say they prefer some other candidate (see article on poll results below) are Republicans who would rather not give Ron Paul a leg up on the GOP competition by saying they would vote for him over Obama, but who actually *would* choose him over Obama in an actual election.

Election 2012: Barack Obama 42%, Ron Paul 41%
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is – virtually dead even.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.
But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.
Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.
Paul, an anti-big government libertarian who engenders unusually strong feelings among his supporters, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But he continues to have a solid following, especially in the growing Tea Party movement.
Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters now consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, an eight-point increase from a month ago. Another 10% say they are not a part of the movement but have close friends or family members who are.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of Paul, while 30% view him unfavorably. This includes 10% with a very favorable opinion and 12% with a very unfavorable one. But nearly one-out-of-three voters (32%) are not sure what they think of Paul.
Perhaps tellingly, just 42% of Republican voters have a favorable view of him, including eight percent (8%) with a very favorable opinion. By comparison, 42% of unaffiliated voters regard him favorably, with 15% very favorable toward him.
Twenty-six percent (26%) of GOP voters think Paul shares the values of most Republican voters throughout the nation, but 25% disagree. Forty-nine percent (49%) are not sure.
Similarly, 27% of Republicans see Paul as a divisive force in the party, while 30% view him as a new direction for the GOP. Forty-two percent (42%) aren’t sure.
Among all voters, 19% say Paul shares the values of most Republican voters, and 27% disagree. Fifty-four percent (54%) are undecided.
Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters nationwide regard Paul as a divisive force in the GOP. Thirty-four percent (34%) say he is representative of a new direction for the party. Forty-five percent (45%) are not sure.
But it’s important to note than 75% of Republicans voters believe Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters throughout the nation over the past several years.
Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 2008, is another Republican who has been bucking the party’s traditional leadership and was the keynote speaker at the recent Tea Party convention in Nashville. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Republican voters say Palin shares the values of most GOP voters throughout the nation. Just 18% of Republicans see Palin as a divisive force within the GOP.
Rasmussen Reports released survey findings yesterday that take a closer look at the political views of those who say they’re part of the Tea Party movement. Among other things, 96% of those in the movement think America is overtaxed, and 94% trust the judgment of the American people more than that of America’s political leaders.
When it comes to major issues confronting the nation, 48% of voters now say theaverage Tea Party member is closer to their views than Obama is. Forty-four percent (44%) hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.
Fifty-two percent (52%) believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters now think Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that an entirely new political party is needed to represent the American people. Nearly half (47%) of voters disagree and say a new party is not needed
If the Tea Party was organized as a political party, 34% of voters would prefer a Democrat in a three-way congressional race. In that hypothetical match-up, the Republican gets 27% of the vote with the Tea Party hopeful in third at 21%. However, if only the Democrat or Republican had a real chance to win, most of the Tea Party supporters would vote for the Republican.

  While at the Rasmussen site, I found another piece from January on the general views of U.S. voters, which is also worth checking out:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2010/65_now_hold_populist_or_mainstream_views

65% Now Hold Populist, or Mainstream, Views
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters nationwide now hold populist, or Mainstream, views of government. That’s up from 62% last Septemberand 55% last March.
Mainstream Americans tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than their political leaders and are skeptical of both big government and big business (see crosstabs). While Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely to hold Mainstream views than Democrats, a majority of those in the president’s party (51%) hold such views.
Only four percent (4%) now support the Political Class. These voters tend to trust political leaders more than the public at large and are far less skeptical about government.
When leaners are included, 81% are in the Mainstream category, and 12% support the Political Class.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
Polling conducted from January 18 through January 24 found that 76% of voters generally trust the American people more than political leaders on important national issues. Seventy-one percent (71%) view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. On each question, a majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters share those views.
These results help explain why most voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and most think that neither political party understands what the country needs.
“The American people don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. The American people want to govern themselves," says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “The American attachment to self-governance runs deep. It is one of our nation’s cherished core values and an important part of our cultural DNA.”
In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Rasmussen explains, ““In the clique that revolves around Washington, DC, and Wall Street, our treasured heritage has been diminished almost beyond recognition. In that world, some see self-governance as little more than allowing voters to choose which of two politicians will rule over them. Others in that elite environment are even more brazen and see self-governance as a problem to be overcome.”
The book can be ordered on the Rasmussen Reports site or at Amazon.com.
The Political Class Index is based on three questions. All three clearly address populist tendencies and perspectives, all three have strong public support, and, for all three questions, the populist perspective is shared by a majority of Democrats, Republicans and those not affiliated with either of the major parties. We have asked the questions before, and the results change little whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge of the government.
Over time, we have found that those with Mainstream views often have a very different perspective from those who support the Political Class. In many cases, the gap between the Mainstream view and the Political Class is larger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Democrats.
Initially, Rasmussen Reports labeled the groups Populist and Political Class. However, despite the many news stories referring to populist anger over bailouts and other government actions, the labels created confusion for some. In particular, some equated populist attitudes with the views of the late-19th century Populist Party. To avoid that confusion, and since a majority clearly hold skeptical views about the ruling elites, we now label the groups Mainstream and Political Class.
The questions used to calculate the Index are:
-- Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgment do you trust more - the American people or America’s political leaders?
-- Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Has the federal government become a special interest group?
-- Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?
To create a scale, each response earns a plus 1 for the populist answer, a minus 1 for the political class answer, and a 0 for not sure.
Those who score 2 or higher are considered a populist or part of the Mainstream. Those who score -2 or lower are considered to be aligned with the Political Class. Those who score +1 or -1 are considered leaners in one direction or the other.
In practical terms, if someone is classified with the Mainstream, they agree with the mainstream view on at least two of the three questions and don’t agree with the Political Class on any.

  I found this piece encouraging not just for the results themselves, but for the way the polling organization frames the issue -- this sentence for instance: " In many cases, the gap between the Mainstream view and the Political Class is larger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Democrats."

  That represents a paradigm shift. In Nolan Chart terms, it is the decreasing importance of the left-right divide, and the increasing importance of the libertarian-authoritarian divide. The less people are invested in left-right debate, and the more people see the libertarian-authoritarian divide as the key debate in society, the better the prospects for libertarianism.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))