A Rasmussen poll released Tuesday is the first to report that Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul would beat President Barack Obama in a hypothetical 2012 matchup.
According to the daily Presidential tracking poll (via The Christian Science Monitor), the Texas congressman would garner 43 percent of the vote while the president would get 41 percent if the two were to run against each other right now.
In the same poll, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would tie with Obama at 44 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum would be three points behind the president and Newt Gingrich would come in 10 points behind, according to Rasmussen.
The numbers indicate that Paul, a candidate who stands out in the GOP presidential field for his libertarian views, is the most electable of the four Republicans.
One Rasmussen poll, however, doesn't mean Paul is a sure win for the GOP. Several other polls put Paul behind in a hypothetical matchup with the president; The Associated Press, CNN, CBSNews/NY Times and Public Policy polling surveys from the past three weeks all have Paul losing at least seven points, according to Real Clear Politics.
Nevertheless, Paul spokesperson Jack Hunter used the statistics to boost up Paul followers ahead of the Michigan and Arizona primaries Tuesday night, in which Paul came in third and fourth place respectively.
Just a reminder that no matter what happens tonight, the latest Rasmussen poll has Ron Paul as the only GOP presidential candidate who could actually beat President Obama in the general election, Hunter wrote on the Paul campaign's official website. If Republicans don't want Mitt but still want to beat Obama, Ron is their best practical bet.