If the 2012 presidential election were held today, a new poll finds that Republican nominee Mitt Romney would top President Obama in a popular vote.

The CNN-ORC International poll, however, puts former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE ahead of Romney by double digits in the hypothetical match.

According to the survey released Sunday, more voters view Clinton as "strong and capable," adding to the consensus that she is seen as the key frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

Romney bests Obama in the poll 53 percent to 44 percent, but falls to Clinton 55 percent to 44 percent.

"Politically speaking, there is an interesting group of people who would not vote for Obama but would pick Clinton over Romney," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It turns out that nearly seven in 10 of them are women, and 56 percent are independents."

The polling numbers also show an increase in the last month in the number of Republicans who support New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Obama's approval ratings have generally flatlined at about 42 percent in recent months.