Ron Paul or Mitt Romney For President: What the Polls Would Say If Today Were Election Day

Four months ago, PolicyMic editor Chris Miles wrote the article, “Ron Paul Will Win the Presidency For Republicans: He is the Hope and Change Candidate of 2012”. Throughout this article Miles details CNN and FOX poll numbers that showed President Obama would (hypothetically) win against any possible Republican nominee for president, including Ron Paul. “Obama is crushing the game,” said Chris.

CNN’s data, at the time:

FOX Poll of Battleground States (CO, FL, NV, NM, NC, PA, OH, VA, WI), at the time:

My response, at the time: “WHAT have I been saying for six months now about poll numbers and statistics? You cited some that would normally make my Democratic heart radiate a warm fuzzy glow but I know that this is February and the election isn't until November ... anything can happen in this horserace. Let's see what the same polls say in June … ”

So, here we are; revisiting the slimy slough of slithery statistics. The Republican race has narrowed to the point at which, in mid-June, Mitt Romney is the all-but-crowned nominee and Ron Paul is still – stubbornly – in the race. The other contenders have endorsed Romney with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

CNN’s June 1 poll indicates that the race between Obama and Romney is within the margin of error – that is, a statistical dead heat. The poll indicates that 49% of the registered voters polled for the survey said they would vote for President Obama, were the election held the day of the survey, vs. 46% for Romney. Interestingly enough, that percentage has not increased for Romney since February, despite the changes in the race over the past four months and the various endorsements that he has received. And while the percentage for Obama has dropped a couple of points … who knows? That poll was taken the week preceding the recall election for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and there was an awful lot of pro-Republican chatter going on at that time. Polls are snapshots; they are indicators and not graven-in-stone truth.

FOX has not repeated the “Battleground States” poll but their early June poll of randomly selected voters from all areas shows a tie between President Obama and former Governor Romney, as well. In fact, Real Clear Politics has a “poll of polls” page where all the major polls are shown, tracked, and averaged together. The June 19 data gives the president an edge the width of a hanging chad.

There is a lot still to come between now and the actual beginning of the campaign:

The end of the 2011-12 Supreme Court term and release of decisions on two cases that will most probably affect the election – the ACA and SB1070.

It’s worth it to repeat: anything can happen in a horse race. There is only one poll that will count; the one we’re all going to participate in on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.