New Polls Offering Conflicting Reports On Presidential Race

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President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are in a dead heat--or, the president leads the former Massachusetts governor by nine points.

Two national polls released this week paint somewhat contradictory pictures of the presidential race.

A CBS/New York Times poll, released Wednesday, shows Obama and Romney tied with 46 percent of support from registered voters. In breaking down its numbers, the poll shows Romney facing a likeability problem and a definite gender gap, particularly among single women, who support Obama 62 percent to 34 percent.

But based on the CBS/NYT poll, it's not all smooth sailing for the president, who while earning high points on the so-called "beer test"--the candidate who seems more relatable--the country remains split on how well Obama has done his job, with 45 percent of responders viewing him unfavorably. The president does have a higher favorable rating than Romney--42 percent versus 29 percent--but the poll suggests he still has a long ways to go in winning people over for the general election.

The CNN/ORC International poll, released Monday, gives Obama a 9 point lead over Romney. Fifty-two percent of responders say they would vote for the president if the election were held now, 43 percent say they would vote for Romney. Like the CBS/NYT poll, the CNN/ORC poll shows a sizable gender gap, with an 18-point advantage for Obama among women.

The poll also indicates a generation gap among voters, with voters over 65 favoring Romney, younger voters preferring Obama.

The poll, like the CBS/NYT poll, gave Obama a significant advantage with voters when it comes to likability--but found among right-leaning voters, roughly two-thirds said their vote would be a vote against Obama rather than a vote for Romney. Though underscoring the difficulty Romney is having connecting with the conservative base, political experts say that even among partisan voters, that's a significant amount of anti-incumbent sentiment.

The CNN/ORC poll had 1,015 responders, while the CBS/NYT poll had 957 responders.

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