Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) would beat President Obama among registered voters, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) would tie the president if the election were held today, according to a new Gallup Poll.
Obama leads GOP Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannBoehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Boehner finally calls it as he sees it MORE (Minn.) among registered voters, but by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
The numbers reflect a worrying slide for Obama heading into the 2012 campaign season, and the poll gives each of those four Republican candidates the ability to sell their electability to primary voters.
Obama leads each Republican among national adults, but his lead narrows or disappears among registered voters.
Romney is the only candidate leading Obama among registered voters, 48 percent to 46 percent, with 6 percent undecided, according to the new Gallup poll. Perry and Obama are tied at 47 percent among registered voters, also with 6 percent undecided.
Obama would beat Paul, 47 percent to 45 percent, and best Bachmann by a 4-point margin, 48 percent to 44 percent.
These most recent figures are the first to have been released since Aug. 13, when Bachmann won the Ames straw poll and Perry launched his campaign. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty exited the GOP race after the poll.
The numbers also clash somewhat with the generic presidential ballot released earlier this month, at the conclusion of debt-ceiling negotiations in Washington. A Gallup poll conducted Aug. 4-7 had shown Obama reversing a two-month slide and retaking the lead against a nameless Republican competitor.
Since that poll, the stock market has performed poorly and Republicans have received heavy media coverage of their campaigning, during which they’ve assailed Obama’s leadership.
Just as worrying for the president is that all the Republicans except Bachmann lead Obama among registered voters who consider themselves independents. Romney leads among independents 47 percent to 44 percent, Perry leads 46 percent to 44 percent and Paul leads 46 percent to 43 percent. Bachmann trails Obama, 48 percent to 42 percent.
The Gallup poll, conducted Aug. 17-18, has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.