Washington, April 19 (IANS) President Barack Obama and his likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney are locked in a tight race in the November presidential poll as Romney solidified support within his party, according to a new poll.
Registered voters are evenly split between Romney and Obama with both supported by 46 percent each, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll finds.
Last month's Times/CBS News poll also showed a close race, with 47 percent supporting Obama and 44 percent Romney.
Following the exit of former senator Rick Santorum, his closest rival in the Republican nomination race, a majority of Republican primary voters - 54 percent - now say they would like to see Romney nominated, the poll found.
These include a plurality of evangelical Christians, a group that had formed Santorum's base of support. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich is backed by 20 percent of Republican voters, while House member Ron Paul draws 12 percent support.
But the poll continues to show a lack of strong enthusiasm among many Republican voters for Romney's candidacy with only one in three saying they would enthusiastically support him in November.
Meanwhile, a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday found an ideological split among Republicans over who should be Romney's running mate.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tops the list of those presented with a list of possibilities, with 26 percent. Santorum was the top pick of 21 percent. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie were tied at 14 percent.
But among self-described tea party supporters, Rubio is the top choice, with 22 percent, and Christie is second, with 18 percent. Rice and Santorum drop into a tie for third place.
Among Republicans who say they aren't tea party supporters, 36 percent say Rice is their choice, and one in four say they prefer Santorum. Christie barely cracks double digits, and Rubio is in single digits among non-tea party supporters.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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