Gallup: Obama in Tight Races With Perry, Romney

Gallup: Obama in Tight Races With Perry, Romney

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - September 19, 2011

President Obama finds himself in close races with his two leading GOP rivals, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

Among registered voters, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney edges Obama, 49 percent to 47 percent. The president leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry, 50 percent to 45 percent.

Though he leads Obama, Romney isn't GOP voters' top choice for the nomination. Perry attracts 31 percent support from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents while Romney has 24 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul comes in third with 13 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and businessman Herman Cain each receive 5 percent support. Bachmann has plummeted eight points since the last USA Today/Gallup poll, released in early August. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman round out the field with 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

According to the new survey, 53 percent of voters say they want a Republican nominee who is best positioned to defeat President Obama, and 43 percent say they want a candidate who agrees with them on nearly all issues.

The Republican White House hopefuls will go head-to-head on Thursday in a televised debate in Orlando, Fla.

Gallup surveyed 889 registered voters, including 439 Republican and GOP-leaning independents, from Sept. 15-18. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. The margin of error for the Republican sample is plus or minus six percentage points.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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