Washington (CNN) – Mitt Romney is all tied up with President Barack Obama in a likely general election matchup, with the president showing signs of weakness on the economy and Romney seen as out of touch with ordinary Americans, according to a new national survey.
And a CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday also indicates that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is also even with Obama in another possible showdown this November. The survey also suggests the Republican advantage on voter enthusiasm is eroding, which could be crucial in a close contest.
See full results (pdf)
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According to the survey, if the November election were held today and Romney were the Republican presidential nominee, 48% say they'd vote for the former Massachusetts governor, with 47% supporting the president. Romney's one point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.
The poll also indicates Paul statistically tied with Obama, with the president at 48% and the longtime congressman at 46%. But according to the poll, the president is doing better against two other Republican presidential candidates. If Rick Santorum were the GOP nominee, Obama would hold a 51%-45% advantage over the former senator from Pennsylvania. And if Newt Gingrich faced off against the president, Obama would lead the former House speaker 52%-43%.
Enthusiasm in voting in the presidential election this November now stands at 54% among registered Republicans, down ten points from last October. Meanwhile, enthusiasm among registered Democrats has risen six points, and now stands at 49%.
"In a race that tight, turnout is likely to determine the outcome, and the Democrats have begun to close the 'enthusiasm gap' that damaged their prospects so badly in the 2010 midterms," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
While the Obama re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have all of the GOP White House hopefuls in their sights, they are directing most of their firepower towards Romney, and the poll indicates why that is the case.
According to the survey, both men are seen as strong leaders, and both are viewed as having the personal qualities that a president should have. Forty-eight percent of Americans say that Obama agrees with them on the issues they care about - not great, but better than the 43% who feel that way about Romney.
"But on the economy - issue number one to most Americans - Romney has a clear advantage. 53% say the former Massachusetts governor can get the economy moving; only 40% say that about President Barack Obama," says Holland. "But the numbers are reversed when voters are asked whether the candidates are in touch with ordinary Americans. Fifty-three percent say that Obama is in touch; only four in ten feel that way about Romney."
Obama and Romney are virtually tied on whether they are seen as strong and decisive leaders. The survey indicates that by a 61%-34% margin, Americans say Romney changes his position on the issues for political reasons. By a 56%-42% margin, the public feels the same way about the president.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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They won't be tied after the first time they're on stage together.
Vote for Mitt Romney!!
Fifty-three percent say that Obama is in touch; only four in ten feel that way about Romney.
When it comes to middle class Americans and the poor, the President is very much in touch. Someone who makes $10,000 bets while people are suffering and looking for work is way out of touch if you ask me. The economy may be issue #1 to most, but I still like to feel safe. And this President has done just that.
There was a lot of capital put into that Solyndra plant...
A real capitalist would see this as a test of the U.S. system against the Chinese government backed silicon companies, and our own oil and natural gas companies...
T Boone Pickens and old oil man wants billions from the government and has a interesting plan, and if approved will make a lot of money with our tax dollars...
Our oil companies buy a land or off shore oil lease and then own the oil they find...on our land or within our water rights...like it's our land and our water rights regions....We could pay a company to find that oil, refine it, and we would own the oil.....
I don't know why we don't get back in the game with Solyndra and make it work...some call this propping up a failed business design/plan.....I just say we are working out the problems looking for the right solution...just like NASA did when we staked a goal to go to the moon...we made mistakes..and learned from them...
We could make pure hydrogen from our wind and solar farms..store it for later use...pipe it, mix with the CO2 from our coal and natural gas power plants and make methane gas, natural gas is 90% methane gas....and we can grow Algae...green oil make our own oil.. or we can listen to the big oil companies and wage wars and someday run out...
Huh? I thought Ron Paul was unelectable?
Considering the millions of dollars in free debate coverage and the millions of dollars spent on half-truth or lying ads against Obama by PACs, plus no Congress to work with, Obama is in a great position for re-election. All the free studff will end soon and the DNC will really launch their campaign to tell the truth about the truly amazinmg accomplishments Obama has made against hige odds.
If Romney is the GOP nominee I will vote Obama. If Paul is the GOP I will seriously consider my vote for him. I cannot vote Romney as he is nothing more than a return to old tired GOP GW Bush policies. The same policies that got America in the mess she is in. Paul is not a return to those same policies so I will consider him.
We are a stupid, stupid nation.
This is hysterical. 1021 people were polled – about as many people in the average parking lot.
There is no difference between Obama and Romney. Vote for either.
Both Romney and Obama want to continue the wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas, they each favored the bail-outs, both are pro-gun control, and neither is really serious about a meaningful reduction in taxes or the size of government.
The only difference I see is that Obama has been relatively consistent in his abortion policies; I am not sure where Romney stands this evening on the issue of abortion.
It has to be Ron Paul.
Its looking more and more like Ron Paul is the guy to back in this thing. Every day Ron Paul shows more strength in numbers and more peole are seeing that he is the only choice for our new leader.
well it should be interesting, to say the least.
dream on. Obama will cream either of these guys.
And just think, the President hasn't even begun to campaign yet.
Oh hell, mitten is tied up with the president. I wonder when he keeps up the trickle down repubs tradition of the past 30 years, giving to the rich and have the middle class foot the bill. I wonder how long the American people will agree with the truckle down policies that have brought America to her knees.
Go Obama or Ron Paul! Woot Woot!
Obama needs to dump Biden and add Hillary Clinton as his VP running mate!!!
"But on the economy – issue number one to most Americans – Romney has a clear advantage. 53% say the former Massachusetts governor can get the economy moving; only 40% say that about President Barack Obama," says Holland.
Yes, the American people HAVE been paying attention. In November, Obama will be FIRED for failing to perform with regards to our economy. Had he told us in 2008 he was a socialist, he never would have been elected.
And the fact that even Ron Paul is tied statistically with Obama is quite amazing. Yes libtards, Obummie is in deep doo-doo. Can you say Adios Obamos??!! Yes,I know you can...
Mr. President, as a conservative independent with very conservative moral views who happens to support you endlesly, I am asking you to kindly find a way not to run in 2012. I am so serious and it is not a joke. This country does not deserve you. they deseve an ignorant GOP who will send the country down the drain, eleminate middle class, makes inflation go through the roof, send unempolyment numbers to record high. you are trying to lead a nation that 38% of it like to stay dumb and find it difficult to think on their own therefore they follow the GOP to think for them. a nation that can be bought for $2000 in a shameful tax refund they got one year. a refund that they could get every year by allowing you to increase taxes on the richest 1% and lower taxes on middle class. seriously Mr. President, why would you want to lead a nation that fights against its own best interest and just follow the voices of the GOP leaders whom themselves are slaves to the richest 1%. how can you free a nation when that nation is a slave by choice and not by force. how can you educate a nation when that nation choses darkness by choice and not by force. how can you grow the economy and rise the middle class to where it should be and needs to be when middle class itself says no to health insurance and lower taxes. see the problem Mr. President is that Middle Class deserve what they get. They are the majority and they are the ones who voted for the current congress of No. they are the ones who chosen to be doomed so let them. trust me Mr. President they do not deserve you and not the other way. you deserve to lead a smart nation and this nation does not deserve you.
A truly Ex Republican who turned Independent after seeing the light.
Republicans have had all the press for months now. Once the Obama campaign machne revs up, Obama will pull ahead. Again and for good.
CNN-you can do better than this.........time to change the channel.
These polls are a joke. Isn't this the same poll that said the Repubs could not make a dent in Congress in 2010? And look what happened. Plain and simple just let the voters decide in November and quit trying to show off candidates.
with obama the only one making progress to repair what the GOP has already done – I'm willing the let obama handle it for another four – the GOP time and again has proven just how self righteous and out of touch with reality they are
It doesn't matter what they say. I'm voting Ron Paul.
Romney cannot beat Obama without Paul's follower support. Paul can beat Obama without Romney's support, because of the anti war votes Paul draws off Obama.