Mitt Romney is slightly ahead of President Barack Obama, 47 to 45 percent, in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking poll
. Gallup began tracking the general election April 11, when Rick Santorum suspended his campaign, making Romney the all-but assured Republican nominee.
The poll numbers are five-day rolling averages and the initial report is based on interviews with 2,265 registered voters. In the current poll, independents break for Romney, 45 to 39 percent, giving him his edge.
Gallup noted that a lead in the spring does not necessarily predict the outcome in the fall, pointing out that two incumbent presidents, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, held substantial leads in April before losing in November.
“Still, the current results, and the results that will follow as Gallup tracks the race on a daily basis, provide an excellent, scientific way to understand the dynamics of the election campaign, and the impact of foreseen and unforeseen events in the weeks and months ahead,” Gallup wrote. “And, at this point, the results show that the 2012 presidential election is shaping up to be a close race.”
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