Santorum Edges Obama in Most Recent Rasmussen Tracking Poll

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Rick Santorum may be the most equipped to win against President Obama, according to Rasmussen.

Daily tracking data released this weekend by Rasmussen Reports has President Obama receiving 44 percent of the vote among likely 2012 general election voters, and Rick Santorum receiving 45 percent.  This is the first time Santorum has been ahead of Obama in a major national poll, and he is currently the only GOP candidate to out-perform the president, according to Rasmussen polling.

Despite Santorum’s favorable numbers when matched with Obama, Rasmussen has him polling at 16 percent among likely Republican primary voters, while Mitt Romney polls at 28 percent, and Newt Gingrich leads with 35 percent.

Rasmussen Tracking Poll Methodology

Rasmussen conducts polling via automated phone calls to landlines. These calls are typically made over the course of several hours, during one day. Internet polling is used as a way to collect data from respondents who do not use landline telephones.  Results are weighted for demographics, and political party affiliation.  Rasmussen states in its poll results that the baseline target for party affiliation in polls such as these is 34.7 percent Republican respondents, 33.6 Democrat respondents, and 31.8 percent unaffiliated respondents.

Rasmussen Polling Flaws

Deviance from standard good polling practices has made Rasmussen’s methodology controversial among polling analysts. Rasmussen touts its track record of often being the first to identify new trends as defense of such practices as automated polling, limited surveying time, and weighting for political affiliation — all practices that are typically associated with inaccuracy and bias.

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