President Obama would face a statistical tie against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) if the 2012 election were held today, a new poll found Wednesday.

A Marist/McClatchy News Poll released this morning suggested that the race between Obama and Romney, a leading contender for the GOP's presidential nomination, is closer than previous surveys have suggested.


Obama enjoys just a single-point advantage over Romney in the Marist poll. In the hypothetical matchup, 46 percent of registered voters said they would reelect Obama, while 45 percent would elect Romney. Nine percent were undecided.

That represents a diminished gap between Obama and Romney since January, when the same poll found that Obama had a 51-38 percent advantage over the former Massachusetts governor.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) also stands within striking distance of Obama, according to the poll. Obama would take 48 percent of the vote to Huckabee's 43 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

Importantly, both Romney and Huckabee enjoy advantages in the poll over Obama among independent voters. Independents break for Romney 45-42 percent, and for Huckabee 44-41 percent, according to Marist.

The poll contains other warning signs for Obama. 

Forty-four percent of registered voters in the poll said they would definitely vote against Obama in 2012, compared to 37 percent who definitely intend to vote for Obama's reelection. That margin widens with independents, 47 percent of whom said they would definitely vote against Obama, and 32 percent of whom favor his reelection effort. 

The poll is consistent with others, though, in reporting that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and real estate mogul Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE trail well behind Obama in hypothetical matchups.

Obama would best Palin 56-34 percent and beat Trump 54-38 percent.

The poll, conducted April 10-14, has a 4.5 percent margin of error in the tests of head-to-head matchups, and a 3 percent margin of error for the national sample.