The first Gallup poll of the election season shows Mitt Romney with a razor-thin lead over Barack Obama, but a CNN poll puts Obama in the lead.
The Gallup poll of registered voters gives Romney, the unofficial but certain Republican presidential candidate, support of 47 percent of the respondents, 2 percent more than President Obama, with a margin of error of 3 percent turning the results into a statistical tie.
Romney is projecting optimism and sent a note to President Obama after the Gallup Poll, saying “Start packing.”
Each candidate won approximately 90 percent of his party’s base in the poll, leaving independent voters with the possible deciding vote. So far, Romney has more independent voters’ support than Obama. Nine percent of the respondents said they were undecided or backed a third candidate.
An incumbent president generally wins more than 50 percent of early polls, but there have been occasions where an incumbent has been re-elected despite a poor performance in initial surveys.
A Rasmussen poll gives Romney a four-point lead, while Obama is two points ahead in a Reuters poll and 10 percentage points ahead in a CNN poll.
The economy is the subject most on the minds of the American voters, and signs of a slow but certain growth have helped President Obama recover some of his low popularity rating.
The Iranian nuclear threat remains a black cloud over his campaign. American voters are tired of intervening in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Israel so far is a minor issue, with President Obama having support from most Jewish voters while Christian evangelists, who also back a strong Israel, tilt towards Romney, although he is Mormon.