Poll finds Obama, Romney deadlocked in 2012 matchup

A new poll shows President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a statistical dead heat for the White House. 

The Republican edges Obama by one percentage point, 45-44 percent, in a Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters released Monday. Among other top GOP contenders, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee trails Obama 46-44 percent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is behind by eight points, 48 percent - 40 percent. 

The poll suggests a clear frontrunner has yet to emerge from the GOP field. Palin, Romney and Huckabee, the three leading challengers in the poll, only receive 19 percent, 18 percent and 17 percent support, respectively, from Republican voters. 

In a good omen for Republicans, voters prefer to elect a new president over keeping Obama 49-43 percent. Independents backed Romney over Obama 46-35 percent and Huckabee over the president 47 percent - 40 percent.

But a plurality of independents preferred Obama to Palin, the 2008 vice presidential nominee, who has a 51 percent disapproval rating compared to Obama's 48-48 approval-disapproval rating.

Quinnipiac surveyed 2,424 registered voters between Nov. 8-15. The poll has a margin of error of 2 points.