A Fox News poll out Monday reveals that a general election match up between Mitt Romney and President Obama would be extremely close if the election were held today:
In a potential Obama-Romney election, 46 percent of voters would back Obama and 45 percent Romney if the election were held today. The president's narrow advantage is well within the poll's three percentage-point margin of sampling error.
And behind those numbers is a striking contrast: 74 percent of Obama backers say they are voting "for" him rather than "against Romney" (21 percent). Yet for Romney, his support is mainly anti-Obama. Fifty-eight percent of Romney voters say they would be voting "against Obama" rather than "for Romney" (33 percent).
Click here for full Fox News poll results.
Each candidate receives strong backing from their party faithful. Eighty-eight percent of Democrats back Obama, and 86 percent of Republicans support Romney.
Independents break for Romney by 43-38 percent.
Overall, more voters are "very" confident in Obama's ability (26 percent) to make the right decisions for the country than feel that way about Romney (16 percent).
On the other hand more voters are either "very" or "somewhat" confident in Romney's decision-making (59 percent), than Obama's (54 percent "very" or "somewhat" confident).
All in all, 51 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Obama and 46 percent unfavorable. For Romney, 45 percent view him favorably and 38 percent unfavorably.
Romney is going to have to do a lot better among independents if he expects to win. And his favorable rating needs a boost as well.
When - or if - Romney clinches the nomination, we'll get a much better idea of where he stands vis a vis the president.