Barack Obama would beat Rick Perry by 11 percentage points in a head-to-head match up, while Romney would hold the president to a four-point lead, according to a poll released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling.
Obama beats all four of the GOP contenders that PPP included in its survey, but Romney holds him to the smallest lead; the former Massachusetts governor is also the only candidate to keep Obama from getting less than 50-percent support. Obama beats Bachmann by a 53–39 margin, and Rick Perry by only slightly less — 52 percent to 41 percent. Newt Gingrich performs similarly, losing to the president 41–53.
If Romney were the nominee and the election were held today, however, the race would be much tighter. Romney takes 45 percent of the vote to Obama’s 49 percent.
Obama has widened his lead since PPP’s last poll three weeks ago. Then, Obama led Perry by just 49 percent to 43 percent, and Romney and Obama tied at 45 percent.
However, a Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters polled on September 10 and September 11 found Romney leading the president, 43 percent to 40 percent.
PPP notes that Obama has both shored up his support from his own party, as well as gotten more support from Republicans.
They also argue that Perry’s fall comes from his comments that social security is a ponzi scheme, and a failure, a view generally considered to be unpopular among seniors. Just 10 percent of the population favors eliminating social security, while 82 percent oppose it. Seventy percent disagree with the statement that Social Security is a ponzi scheme; just 20 percent agree.
However, Perry does better than his average among older voters. 45 percent of voters aged 46 to 65 say they would vote compared to 47 percent for Obama. Among voters older than 65, half say they would vote for Obama, while 45 percent said they would vote for Perry.
PPP surveyed 665 U.S. voters using robo-calls from September 8 through September 11. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.