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Obama 44%, Christie 43%

Friday, September 30, 2011

Few expect him to run, but New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is essentially even with President Barack Obama in an early look at a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that Obama earns 44% support in the matchup, while Christie attracts 43%. Six percent (6%) prefer a third option, and eight percent (8%) are undecided. These numbers place Christie in the same league as other top GOP hopefuls within single digits of Obama including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney,  Texas Governor Rick Perry  and businessman Herman Cain.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)  

However, just 26% believe the first-term governor is likely to run for the White House, a figure that includes only five percent (5%) who think he is Very Likely to run. Twenty percent (20%) of all voters think Christie should run for the White House, but nearly twice as many (37%) say he should not.

Among Republicans, 32% say he should run, 25% hold the opposite view, and 43% are not sure. Just 31% of GOP voters believe he is even somewhat likely to run, while 44% see a Christie campaign as unlikely.

“As Rick Perry has recently demonstrated, it’s easier being on the outside with people begging you to run than it is to actually run a campaign,” says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “Running for president is a unique role in America, and there’s no way of knowing how a candidate will perform unless they actually try it.”

Christie is currently viewed favorably by 38% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 27%. A full 35% have no opinion of him one way or the other. He is viewed favorably by 58% of Republicans nationwide and 39% of unaffiliated voters.

Rasmussen Reports regularly updates data on potential Election 2012 match-ups. Beginning tomorrow, October 1, these articles will be available to subscribers only. Subscriptions are available for $3.95 a month or $34.95 annually. For those who sign up before Saturday, a pre-launch discount of 58% is available.  To view the most recent match-up results between President Obama and Republican hopefuls, see the table below.

A Generic Republican consistently leads the president by single digits in weekly polling. Rasmussen Reports updates that number every Tuesday at 3 pm Eastern. Additionally, numbers for the Generic Congressional Ballot are updated every Monday at 3 pm Eastern, and the number who believe the country is heading in the right direction gets updated Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

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