With his approval rating settling back to Earth now that the bin Laden bump has all but evaporated, President Obama’s leads over a number of potential Republican challengers have narrowed such that he now leads his closest competitor, Mitt Romney, by just two points, according to a PPP poll released Wednesday.
In the survey, registered voters gave Obama a slim 47% to 45% edge over the former Massachusetts governor. That’s a closer contest than last month when Obama led Romney 47% to 42%. It’s also smallest gap separating the two candidates in PPP’s surveys since last November, when Obama led 47% to 46%.
The TPM Poll Average still shows Obama with a healthy lead, 48% to 42.4% over Romney.
While Romney came close to matching Obama, no other GOP candidate polled within single digits of the president. However, both Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain improved their relative standing over past polls.
In March, Pawlenty trailed 47% to 33%; he now trails 50% to 39%. Cain trailed Obama 47% to 29% in March, yet he now trails 48% to 38%.
Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich both polled disastrously in head-to-heads with Obama, trailing 53%-38% and 52%-39% respectively.
Obama’s approval rating has fallen off in the past several weeks amid mounting economic pessimism and concerns that the country is headed toward another recession.
The PPP survey was conducted June 9-12 among 520 registered voters nationwide. It has a margin of error of 4.3%.