Republican challenger Mitt Romney has closed the gap with U.S. President Barack Obama and the two are now neck and neck in the White House race, a poll released Wednesday shows.
Romney, the party's presumptive nominee now that his main Republican rival has folded up his campaign, matched Obama 46-46 percent among registered voters who were asked in a CBS News/New York Times poll who they would vote for if the election were today.
Last month, a survey by the same media outlets showed Obama with a 47-44 advantage.
Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, gained a bump in support in the week since religious conservative Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican race, effectively handing Romney the nomination.
CBS and the Times conducted the poll, whose margin of error is three percentage points, between last Friday and Tuesday, after Santorum ended his campaign.
Republicans -- who split their votes between Romney, Santorum, former House speaker Newt Gingrich and congressman Ron Paul in more than two dozen state primary contests this year -- are now rallying behind Romney.
According to the poll, 54 percent of Republican primary voters say they want Romney as their nominee in the November election, a dramatic increase from March when just 30 percent said they wanted him.
Two of the most prominent Republicans in Congress, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, endorsed Romney on Tuesday, with McConnell saying "I think it's going to be an incredibly close and hard-fought race."
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