A spate of new polls released this week place Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in a dead heat for the GOP presidential nomination among Republican voters, while President Obama runs neck-and-neck with each in general election matchups.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday shows Gingrich and Romney tied atop the GOP field among registered Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters, with each candidate at 30 percent. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is third, at 15 percent. No other candidate is in double-digits: Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is fourth, with 7 percent; Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 6 percent; former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., is at 4 percent; and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is at 2 percent. Four percent are undecided.
The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted six weeks ago, before the Gingrich surge. Gingrich, the former House Speaker, has an advantage: Among all Republicans, regardless of voter-registration status, Gingrich has a 14-point lead among those who say they are very conservative.
A new CBS News poll -- part of which was released later Tuesday morning -- shows Gingrich and Romney tied, with 20 percent apiece, among voters who said they planned to vote in their state's Republican primary. Full results were not available, but CBS reported that Gingrich leads among self-identified conservatives and tea party supporters, while Romney has the advantage with non-tea party supporters and moderates.
Gingrich and Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, are also deadlocked at the top of the Republican field in a CNN/ORC International poll released on Monday. And the latest Gallup tracking poll, conducted Dec. 13-18, shows Gingrich a scant two points ahead of Romney, his smallest lead in any rolling sample since the tracking poll was launched at the start of this month.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll also shows some slight gains for Obama as he prepares to take on the eventual nominee. His approval rating among all Americans ticked up to 49 percent, his highest since March—except for the bump he received after Osama bin Laden's killing.
Obama and Romney tie among registered voters, with each candidate earning 47 percent of the vote. That is statistically identical to the one-point deficit Obama faced in the previous poll, in early November.
Obama runs stronger against Gingrich, leading him 51 percent to 43 percent. Against Paul, Obama leads 49 percent to 44 percent.
But a USA Today/Gallup poll, also released Tuesday, shows no difference between Gingrich and Romney in the general election. Both candidates trail Obama, 50 percent to 48 percent, among registered voters. That represents a slight bump for Gingrich since a Gallup tracking poll conducted earlier this month, but little change in Romney's performance.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Dec. 15-18. The poll surveyed 1,005 adults, for a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. For the general election matchups, there were 904 registered voters, for a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percent. The overall sample included 395 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent. For the GOP primary horserace matchup, 363 of those leaned Republicans were registered to vote; that subsample carries a margin of error of +/- 5.1 percent.
The CBS News poll was conducted Dec. 14-18, surveying 291 likely Republican primary voters, for a margin of error of +/- 5.7 percent.
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Dec. 15-18, surveying 898 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percent.