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Apr 17, 2012, 03.12 AM IST
USA-CAMPAIGN-POLL-OBAMA-ROMNEY:Obama lead over Romney slips: Reuters/Ipsos poll
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed to 4 percentage points from 11 points a month ago, now that Romney has established himself as the probable Republican presidential nominee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.
Obama was backed by 47 percent of registered voters in the telephone poll conducted from April 12 to 15, compared with 43 percent who supported Romney. In the same poll conducted March 8-11, Obama led Romney by 52 percent to 41 percent.
In what could be a problem for Obama in the November 6 election, 53 percent of registered voters said jobs and the economy were the most important issue in the presidential election campaign, and slightly more - 45 percent - rated Romney higher in that area than the 43 percent who favored Obama.
"Obama has had to preside over a really tough economy. ... People are sort of dinging him for it and that's really what's going to make this a competitive race," said Chris Jackson, research director at Ipsos public affairs.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama led his Republican rival John McCain by 52 percent to 40 percent on jobs and the economy, and the Democrat won the election.
Obama's approval rating remains steady, the poll found, with the same percentage of voters - 49 - approving and disapproving of his performance as president.
Incumbents generally are considered to have a solid chance of re-election if their approval ratings are about 45 percent before Election Day, Jackson said.
The telephone poll of 1,044 adults included 891 registered voters, of whom 304 were Democrats, 235 were Republicans and 302 were independents. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for all respondents, 3.3 for registered voters, 4.2 for Democrats, 4.9 for Republicans and 9.8 for independents.
(Editing by David Lindsey and Eric Walsh)
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