PPP's monthly look ahead to the 2012 Presidential race finds that Ron Paul could play a major role as a third party candidate. He gets 13% in a hypothetical three way contest with Barack Obama getting 42% and Mitt Romney 36%.
Paul would draw his support in such a scenario from conservative leaning voters who are unhappy with the Republican party. 44% who say they would vote for him are Republicans compared to 41% independents and 15% Democrats. 49% are conservatives, 37% are moderates, and 14% are liberals. But only 26% of them think Congressional Republicans are doing a good job to 61% who disapprove
In a direct head to head between Obama and Romney the President leads 45-42 so Paul as a third party candidate could be worth roughly 3 points to Obama's margin of victory.
Poll after poll after poll we conduct about who Republican voters prefer for their party's 2012 nominate finds Paul in single digits. If he really wants to get his issues out there on the national stage a third party bid may be the only way to do it and in a political climate where voters are disgusted with both parties people may be more receptive than they usually would.
Down the line Obama is doing better in this month's 2012 poll, leading every match up after trailing in most of them a month ago. Romney and Mike Huckabee come the closest, both down by three points. It's a 47-44 contest against Huckabee. Obama leads Sarah Palin 49-43, Newt Gingrich 49-42, and Chris Christie 47-31.
Even though Obama has negative approval numbers with independents he leads every potential GOP foe with them.
Finally the gold fringed flag and traffic stops may live to die another day in American society. Voters nationwide aren't any more inclined to let Basil Marceaux do his issues than the ones in Tennessee were last week- Obama leads the youtube sensation 46-21 in a hypothetical contest.
Full results here