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The Republican Party faces an uphill climb with independent voters in 2012 – or at least three of its remaining four presidential candidates do.

According to a recent Washington Post/ ABC News poll, only U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is viewed favorably by independents – and that by a narrow margin.

Taken from February 29 to March 4, the Post/ ABC poll found that Paul is viewed favorably by 38 percent of independent voters – while 35 percent view him unfavorably. Those obviously aren’t great numbers, but they are much better than any of his Republican rivals.

For example, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is viewed favorably by 32 percent of independent voters, compared to a whopping 48 percent who view him unfavorably. Yeah … and that’s before U.S. President Barack Obama opens drops tens of millions (maybe even hundreds of millions) of dollars in negative ads on him.

How’s that electability argument looking now?

Of course Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s spreads are even worse … with only 30 percent of independents viewing Santorum favorably and only 21 percent of independents having a favorable impression of Gingrich.

Ouch right?

Further compounding Romney’s electability issue? The Post/ ABC poll found that thirty percent of Republican voters view Romney unfavorably.

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