Perry, Romney run close to Obama in head-to-head matchup

Both Rick Perry and Mitt Romney would give President Barack Obama a run for his money in the general election, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

In a head-to-head match up, Obama and Romney tie with 45 percent of the vote. Perry and Obama run close together, with the president leading Perry by a 42–45 margin. Neither Michele Bachmann nor Sarah Palin performs particularly well in a general election scenario: Obama beats Bachmann by nine points, and Palin by a 14 point margin. (RELATED: Santorum slams Perry, says his lead is temporary)

The poll found that voters have a split opinion of Obama, with 47 percent saying that opinion was favorable and 47 percent unfavorable. In terms of how he is doing his job, however, by Gallup’s measurement, Obama has seen the lowest approval ratings of his presidency during the past few weeks, dropping as low as 38 percent.

Independent voters would prefer a Romney nomination to a Perry-led ticket. In a general election scenario, those voters break for Romney over Obama, 46 percent to 40 percent. Perry, on the other hand, gets 40 percent of the independent vote compared to Obama’s 42 percent.

For the moment, Perry is the favorite to get the Republican nomination. In a Palin-less field, he leads with 26 percent of the vote from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, compared to Romney’s 20 percent, Bachmann’s 12 percent, and Ron Paul’s 10 percent. If Palin enters the race, Perry retains his lead with 24 percent of the vote to Romney’s 18 percent, Palin’s 11 percent, and Bachmann’s 10 percent.

The results echo those of other polls released in recent days which show Perry leading the Republican field.

Quinnipiac University interviewed 2,730 registered voters by telephone between August 16 and August 27. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percent of the vote. The sample of Republican primary voters included 1,185 Americans and has a margin of error of ± 2.9 percentage points.