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Obama Runs Second to Republicans In Voter Trust On Key Issues

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just over one-third of Likely U.S. Voters trust President Obama more than the Republican candidates for president when it comes to the handling of the economy, national security and health care. However, the president does have the trust of more voters than any individual GOP candidate at this time.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey pits the president against the seven leading GOP hopefuls in these three areas, asking voters which candidate they trust the most. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the leading Republican in terms of voter trust, with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney running second. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-five percent (35%) of voters trust the president most to handle issues related to the economy, while the majority (54%) puts more faith in one of the seven Republicans. Twenty-one percent (21%) trust Gingrich most when it comes to the economy, followed by 14% who have the most faith in Romney. Then comes Texas Congress Ron Paul with nine percent (9%). The remaining GOP contenders all earn low single-digit support – Texas Governor Rick Perry (3%), Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (3%), Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (2%) and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (2%).

Voters continue to rate the economy as the number one issue on their minds. 

When it comes to national security, 38% of voters trust Obama most in this area, but 49% have more confidence in one of the Republicans. On national security issues, Gingrich posts a wider lead over Romney. Twenty-nine percent (29%) trust Gingrich most to handle national security issues, while just seven percent (7%) put more trust in Romney. Paul again comes in third, with six percent (6%) who trust him most in this area. The rest of the Republicans again earn low single-digit support in terms of who trusts them most on national security: Perry (3%); Bachman (2%); Huntsman (1%) and Santorum (1%).

Voters rate Gingrich and Romney evenly when asked which Republican presidential candidate would run strongest against Obama. However, among GOP voters, 49% say Gingrich is the stronger candidate while just 24% say Romney.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 10-11, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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