(CNN) - If the presidential election were held today, a new poll reveals that voters would be divided between incumbent President Barack Obama and current GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.
According to a Gallup poll released Friday, Romney edges out former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry as the more competitive candidate in a hypothetical matchup with President Obama.
In 12 swing states including Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Florida, where the fourth presidential nominating contest is held, and Nevada, which will host the fifth contest when its caucus takes place on Feb. 4, Obama trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by one percentage point, well within the poll's margin of error. Swing state voters are split between the former governor making his second bid for the GOP presidential nomination and the incumbent president 47-46%.
Registered voters nationwide are divided evenly in the poll with 47% saying they would select President Obama and 47% saying they would choose Romney if the presidential election were held today. They survey includes those who are undecided but lean toward one candidate or the other.
Romney fared slightly better than Perry or Cain among voters both nationwide and in swing states.
Across the country, Obama holds a 48-46% margin over Cain, a margin that increases by one percentage point in swing states, where he takes 48% support to Cain's 45%. The survey was conducted before allegations of sexual harassment by Cain during his time at the National Restaurant Association emerged.
Among the three GOP contenders, the longest running governor of Texas is the least competitive when matched with President Obama. The biggest margin where the president is ahead is among swing states where he has an edge of five percentage points, still within the sampling error for the poll.
Forty-nine percent of voters across the country would choose Obama over Perry, who would receive 45% support if the general election were held today and Perry were the nominee. In swing states, 49 percent picked Obama and 44 percent chose Perry. The president's margin's over both Cain and Perry are also within the survey's sampling error.
The poll results show the president performing better than Gallup's hypothetical matchup of Obama against an unnamed Republican candidate in a presidential contest-in that measure the president has consistently polled behind the generic Republican.
And the GOP may benefit from an enthusiasm gap in next year's election-the survey reflects that more than half of Republican voters are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting compared with less than half of Democrats, both nationwide and among included swing states.
The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone from Oct. 20-27 among 1,334 registered voters in twelve selected states. It has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Gallup's national survey was conducted among 1,169 registered voters during the same dates and has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Has Cain controversy hurt him in the polls?
Poll: It's a lead for Obama in PA
Youngest voters back Obama; Oldest back Romney
Why would anyone ever vote for someone like Romney? It was bad enough people voted for Bush not once but twice. Romney? Talked about predestined for failure! This country can't have another bad president like Bush was. We need good presidents like Obama and Clinton.
"Registered voters "
Right. And hey, we might as well not count non-registered voters this tie around since the GOP is doing everything it can to prevent minorities and youth voters from registering for 2012.
It's nice to see Republicans embrace a liberal like Romney.
This poll MIGHT actually be true – let's say it is for the sake of argument. As for me, I plan to wait until the REAL match-up occurs and I personally don't think it will. I still think that idiot Perry will get the nomination (I know that sounds a bit unreasonable) but that's just my opinion.
And to think that only 22 percent of likely GOP and Independant voters actually support Romney! Looks like Barry is headed back to Chi-town next November!
Mitt Romney must win the nomination first Look like Rick Perry may come back win all the south and the win nomination
Stick a fork in him man...He's done.
And that's why they're going after Romney. They know he is the Republicans' best hope for defeating Obama.
The dems can blame all they want but they have to take ownership of this. November 2012 can't come soon enough
They should definatly duke it out for the big states. I'd put what ever I own on Obama!
What a laugh! Even Republicans hate Romney and after 6 yrs of campaigning cannot get above a 23% approval rating from Republicans. There is NO comparison between President Obama and the king of every position of every issue.
President Obama is a good and decent man, an outstanding leader with many successes as President, had worked hard for the PEOPLE, has actually been working for JOBS, and has character, integrity, honor, and morality. Romney – bankrupt in all categories.
Too bad ,the GOP has a problem with his cult membership as does the rest of the true Christian populace.
President Cain? The guy just warned us that China may be trying to develop nuclear weapons, and he said poor people should eat "used food". What the heck is used food???
President Romney? I can't wait for the commercials where they show old Romney debate footage against new Romney debate footage. The guy could debate himself!
Mitts problem is the do nothing congress. Repugs have history of only working for the 1%. Mitts needs to look out for OWS they will tie him to the congress.
Mitt Romney will win over the other Republicans. But still, what are they thinking? The Republicans are for the rich folks only. But what can you expect from a country that elected Bush twice. I do think that once the two go head to head Obama will come out on top.
I can't believe you would say Obama is a good president! He is so over his head because he came in to office with absolutely no experience running anything and our current state of affairs attests to that. Romney actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to fiscal issues and running a business. I can't wait for Romney to get into office and start moving this country back to the great nation that it once was!
Why would anyone with any sense or responsibility, or patriotism for the United States, even think of voting for Obama? I am not a Romney fan but I would vote for HIM over Obama any day – at least we might still have a chance to save the country!!
A Repulican that sways to the left versus a Democrat that sways to the right. This is going to be interesting.
2012 can't come soon enough. The community organizer has been campaigning for 3 yrs now and this is what we got? Run Hillary now.
President Obama will surely be reelected. Despite Republican obstructionism, he is calmly and methodically working to get the country out of the mess that W left it in. The 99% will vote for Obama. The Republicans will do nothing for the 99%.
What is Mitts going to do when the jobs bill to put veterns to work fails. Do you think the American people will tolerate this?