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Romney closes gap with Obama in new poll

Likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has closed the gap between himself and President Obama, pulling into a tie among registered voters, a CBS News/New York Times poll showed Wednesday.

A month after he trailed the president, 47 percent to 44 percent, Romney is now in a 46-46 deadlock with Obama.

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The biggest boon for Romney, the survey showed, was the exit of his toughest GOP challenger, Rick Santorum. With the former senator from Pennsylvania out of the race, 54 percent of Republican primary voters say they want Romney to be the party’s nominee; only 30 percent said the same in March.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich received 20 percent support among Republican primary voters. Texas Representative Ron Paul got 12 percent.

Almost two-thirds of survey respondents said Santorum made the right decision to suspend his campaign.

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Though Republicans are coalescing around Romney, the poll revealed many are doing so reluctantly. Forty percent of GOP primary voters said they have reservations about Romney, while only 33 percent said they back him enthusiastically.

The CBS/Times poll is the latest to show Romney making gains on the president. The Gallup Daily Tracking survey, which debuted this week, gave Romney a 48-43 edge over Obama on Tuesday.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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