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Poll: In 2012 swing states, Obama is tied with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich

In 12 swing states in the 2012 election, Obama is deadlocked against Republican Mitt Romney, with 45 percent of the vote each, a new Purple Poll shows. Newt Gingrich also shows well. 

By Correspondent / November 21, 2011

Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich speaks as Mitt Romney listens during the CBS News/National Journal foreign policy debate at the Benjamin Johnson Arena, Nov. 12 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Richard Shiro/AP

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When Republicans determine their party's nominee next year and when President Obama hits the campaign trail in earnest, all eyes will turn to those critical swing states that catapulted the Democrat to victory in 2008. Only this time, according to a survey released Monday, the "Yes We Can" candidate has lost his luster from Florida to Ohio, Nevada to New Hampshire.

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“Overall, there’s no question that the Obama campaign should be very worried looking at these numbers,” says Doug Usher, managing director of the bipartisan firm Purple Insights, which examined voter views in the dozen states likely to determine Mr. Obama’s reelection prospects.

The aptly named Purple Poll reveals a president with sagging approval numbers – 41 percent across these states – and an overwhelming sense among these voters – 71 percent – that the country is moving in the wrong direction.

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The survey, conducted Nov. 13-17, also shows Obama is deadlocked against Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, with 45 percent of the vote each in those states. As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich surges, he, too, shows well against the White House incumbent; Obama leads Mr. Gingrich 46 percent to 44 percent. Gingrich has benefited from his turn in the media spotlight as the latest possible alternative to Mr. Romney, Mr. Usher says, but it’s unclear as yet if Gingrich will survive the glare to mount a strong primary challenge.

(A new national Gallup poll of registered Republican likely voters shows Gingrich edging Romney, 22 percent to 21 percent – within the four percentage point margin of error.)

Also not to be missed in the Purple Poll numbers is this: For all the gnashing about Romney’s lack of appeal to the base and the general enthusiasm deficit he faces (his unfavorable ratings continue to increase), just 10 percent of swing state voters say they would definitely not support him. By comparison, 22 percent say the same of former Godfather’s Pizza chief Herman Cain and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, while 15 percent weigh in with a definitive "no" for Gingrich.

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