With voter enthusiasm down for Mitt Romney, President Obama is ahead of the former Massachusetts governor among registered voters nationwide in a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 49 percent to 45 percent.
Although this four-point advantage is within the margin of error, it shows the president with the biggest lead over Romney recorded this cycle in Gallup tracking. The poll was conducted among 901 registered voters between March 25-26 .
The poll, released on Monday, shows an even bigger lead for the president against Romney’s chief rival Rick Santorum, 51 percent to 43 percent. This marks a drop for Santorum from mid-February, when the former Pennsylvania senator — as the leading Republican choice at the time — was tied with Obama.
Obama also leads among independent voters, with a greater lead against Santorum. This will be a key demographic in November, as the poll shows the number of undecided Democratic and Republican voters decreasing over time. This likely means the voting base for both parties is solidifying, leaving Obama and the GOP nominee to battle it out for independent support.
The same poll shows that voter enthusiasm has gone down significantly over the last several months, especially among Romney supporters. Only 42 percent of those surveyed say they are “extremely” or “very enthusiastic” about voting in the presidential election this year. Among Romney supporters, enthusiasm is down 13 percentage points since January. It is now on par with the enthusiasm logged by Obama supporters.
A USA Today/Gallup poll released on Sunday showed that Obama had an even more significant lead over Romney among registered voters in swing states. With women in his corner, Obama led Romney 51 percent to 42 percent.
Those states included in the Sunday poll were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.