Rick Santorum's exit from the GOP race has given Mitt Romney a boost in his face-off against President Obama, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. The poll found that Obama's lead against Romney has shrunk from 11 points a month ago to just four points now. Some 43% of those polled back Romney, while 47% support Obama—a statistical dead heat. It's as close as they've been since early last November when Romney had a single-point lead over Obama, his only lead since Reuters started head-to-head polling last May.
In a troubling sign for the Obama campaign, some 53% said jobs and the economy were the most important issue, and slightly more of them thought Romney could handle the economy better than Obama has done. In 2008, Obama had a double-digit lead over John McCain on jobs and the economy. "Obama has had to preside over a really tough economy," notes an Ipsos research director. "People are sort of dinging him for it, and that's really what's going to make this a competitive race." Analysts predict that the race will hinge on four or five swing states.