ASBURY PARK, N.J., Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Republican Ron Paul would beat Democratic incumbent Barack Obama if they faced off in the presidential general election, a Rasmussen poll indicated Tuesday.
The spot poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports of Asbury, N.J., gave the Texas congressman 43 percent to Obama's 41 percent, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
Obama would be tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 44 percent each. The president would defeat former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania by 3 percentage points and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia by 10 points, the Rasmussen poll indicated.
"In order to win back the White House, Republicans must nominate a consistent candidate that offers something besides the status quo. Ron Paul is that candidate," Paul's national campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, said in a statement reacting to the poll results.
The online newspaper noted it's the first time Paul has been shown to be leading Obama in any poll. The RealClearPolitics rolling average of such polls puts Paul behind by about 7 points, the Monitor said.
Details of the Rasmussen poll were not provided.