A shocking new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump a mere 2 points behind President Barack Obama in a hypothetical 2012 head-to-head match-up.
Obama had the support of 43 percent of the public, to Trump’s 41 percent — within the poll’s +/-3.5 percent margin of error.
The president led Republican 2012 hopefuls and former governors Sarah Palin by 11 points (51-40), Mitt Romney by 2 points (49-47), and was tied with Mike Huckabee (46-46).
The result could be an outlier as Obama held a 14 point lead over Trump (48-34) in a recent survey by Public Policy Polling. It found that Trump had a national approval rating of only 27 percent; 56 percent disapproved.
Trump, who is no serious analyst’s idea of a viable Republican nominee or presidential contender, has been floated as a dark-horse candidate. The reality television star and media magnate entertained the idea by making a speech this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which one media outlet said he “stole the show.”
But will that motivate him to run? “I’m incredibly tempted,” he said, according to Bloomberg news.
An online petition has sprung up to “Draft Trump” for president in 2012.
It probably won’t help Trump with the Republican base that he was a vociferous critic of President George W. Bush and has described himself as more of a Democrat.
“I probably identify more as a Democrat,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2004. “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.”
According to the Daily Beast, the poll “was conducted with a representative sample of the national population with 918 likely voters” between Feb. 12 and Feb. 15.