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Poll: Obama Pulls Ahead Of Romney

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President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the University of Miami in the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse on February 23, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  Obama spoke to the crowd about American energy and later in the day he made stops at campaign fundraisers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to the University of Miami in the BankUnited Center Fieldhouse on February 23, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Obama spoke to the crowd about American energy and later in the day he made stops at campaign fundraisers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Barack Obama is locked in what has essentially become a neck-and-neck race with Republican Mitt Romney. The latest Gallup poll of registered voter though showed Obama with a little bit of breathing room.

According to the poll, if the election were held today, 49 percent of those surveyed would vote for, or lean towards voting for President Obama. The poll found 42 percent of those surveyed would vote for, or lean towards voting for Republican Mitt Romney.

But, the same poll showed almost exactly the opposite a few weeks ago, which this far out from the November election is to be expected.

On the issue Romney has made the central part of his campaign, he’s having trouble against the president. When asked by Gallup who they had the most confidence in handling the economy, Obama was at 50 percent while Romney was at 42 percent.

Incidentally, 39 percent trusted the Democratic leaders in Congress and 38 percent trusted Republicans in Congress to handle the economy and the recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Overall, 48 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama has handled his job. Obama scores well among African-Americans, Hispanics, Democrats, and voters 49 and younger. He scores poorly among voters over the age of 50 and among Republicans.

He also is struggling to keep it above 43 percent approval among independent voters.

For Romney, he has to try to move back to the political center while also maintaining his appeal amongst the most hard conservatives. Where Romney has trouble is dealing with Congressional Republicans.

Their popularity has dropped and are sometimes prone to say things that could damage Romney among the general electorate.

Speaker of the House John Boehner appealed to conservatives Tuesday when he said about Barack Obama, “If you have a government that can give you everything that you want, you have a government that can take everything from you.”

It’s a comment that would only impact Boehner, but as the general election draws near, Romney will have to decide how much he wants to align with Congressional Republicans or if he wants to almost run against them.

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