Romney narrowing gap with Obama, poll finds

Mitt Romney is narrowing the lead President Obama holds in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up as voters continue to express concern over the economy, according to a poll released late Monday by Reuters/Ipsos.

Obama now holds a 4-percentage-point lead over the presumptive Republican nominee, down significantly from the 11-point lead he held just a month ago. The president no longer earns the support of a majority of American voters.

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Romney benefits from 53 percent of voters saying jobs and the economy are the most important issue in the upcoming election, with those surveyed giving Romney a 45 percent-to-43 edge over the president on economic issues.

It's Romney's best showing in a Reuters match-up poll against the president since October of last year, and a sign that Republicans might finally be coalescing around his candidacy. The GOP hopeful was also likely buoyed by controversial comments by Democratic consultant Hilary Rosen, who made headlines last week when she attacked his wife, Ann Romney, saying the stay-at-home mom had "never worked a day in her life."

But Romney is also benefiting from an anti-incumbent mood, illustrated by 60 percent of respondents saying the country is on the wrong track, versus just 35 percent who are happy with the direction of the country.

Other poll questions show an electorate generally split. Approval of the president is split down the middle — 49 percent approve and 49 disapprove of the president's performance. Similarly, on a generic ballot poll, 42 percent favor congressional Democrats to 41 percent for congressional Republicans. That's a drop for Democrats from a 4-point lead last month.

The Reuters poll is the third this week to show Romney narrowing the gap or overtaking Obama, as both campaigns switch their focus to the general-election fight. 

Romney leads Obama 47 percent to 45 among registered voters in Gallup's first national daily tracking poll, though his edge is within the poll's 3-point margin of error.

Gallup showed independents tipping the scale in favor of Romney, going for the former Massachusetts governor 45 percent to 39.

A CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed Obama up 9 points, but down from 11 points in an earlier CNN poll taken in March.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted from April 12 to 16 and has a 3-point margin of error.