By Geneva Sands - 04/17/12 12:44 PM EDT
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y) said Tuesday that voters in his district had shown little "excitement" for presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, but that the former Massachusetts governor had a "good chance" to win the general election.
Asked during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if his constituents were enthusiastic about backing Romney, King said that "so far they're not."
"I can tell you there's a lot of dissatisfaction with President Obama and people are still waiting on Gov. Romney and that's why I'm saying if Mitt Romney can show that he can get the job done, he had a very good chance of winning, but no, there's not that excitement level," he said.
"However, you're talking about a guy who is extremely honest, extremely capable," he added.
King's comments come as a new poll finds that Romney is among the least popular presidential candidates at the beginning of a campaign. According to a poll released Monday from ABC News and The Washington Post, Romney trails President Obama in personal popularity by 21 percentage points.
However, a recent poll also shows the GOP candidate is narrowing in on Obama's lead in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up as voters continue to express concern over the economy.
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, according to a poll released late Monday by Reuters/Ipsos. The first of Gallup's daily national tracking polls on Monday showed Romney with a 2-point lead, but that edge was within the poll's margin of error.
King said he believes people will vote for Romney if they think "he's competent," given the president's job approval ratings.
At the end of the interview, panelist Lawrence O'Donnell, host of MSNBC's "The Last Word," joked with the congressman that regardless of the excitement for the Republican hopeful, King knows that "there is no amount of Republican enthusiasm that can possibly win the state of New York for Mitt Romney."
President Obama won over 60 percent of the vote in New York in 2008 against then-Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).