Despite Rick Santorum's Iowa surge, Mitt Romney is still the only candidate competing in polls with President Obama, according to a newly-released Rasumussen poll.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Obama and Romney each earning 42% of the vote. Eight percent (8%) prefer some other candidate, and another eight percent (8%) are undecided.
Last week, Romney held a 45% to 39% advantage over the president, his biggest lead yet and the largest lead a named Republican candidate has held over Obama to date. However, the two candidates have been essentially tied in regular surveys since January 2011. Romney continues to be the only GOP hopeful to lead Obama in more than one survey. The former governor’s support has ranged from 38% to 45%, while Obama has picked up 40% to 46% of the vote in the surveys over the past year.
Romney is hardly putting up a decisive showing against the president, and it's clear that conservatives are hardly sold on him. Indeed, accusations of flip-flopping and supporting liberal policies still abound. But he's undeniably still the frontrunner in the Republican horse race, despite tepid support:
Among likely GOP primary voters nationwide, Romney is once again the front-runner with 29% support. Coming off his photo finish with Romney in the Iowa caucuses, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum now runs second among Republican voters with 21%, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 16%. Gingrich led the pack in late November.
Will a New Hampshire primary win solidify his status and propel him to the nomination? Or will a more conservative candidate overtake him in states like South Carolina? Guess we'll see how Romney's 1,000 points of ad buys work down south...