The first Gallup poll of the general election campaign shows
The former Massachusetts governor, emerging from a difficult and longer-than-expected Republican nomination battle, has the support of 47% of registered voters nationwide, while the president has the support of 45%. Two percent of voters said they supported another candidate, while 7% were undecided.
That's a statistical tie, given the survey's margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Both parties' bases seem firmly behind their presumed nominees. Ninety percent of
Among the independent voters that will ultimately decide the race, Romney has a six-point lead, 45% to 39%, with 12% undecided.
Gallup says it began its daily tracking poll on April 11, the day after
Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said the horse-race numbers this early in the election year have not always been a reliable indicator of the final outcome. In 1992,
But historically, polling below 50% in the first trial heat has been an ominous indicator for incumbent presidents. Obama's approval rating in the latest daily tracking poll is 45%.
An Obama campaign spokesman declined to comment on the poll.