Gallup: Romney Beating Obama in First Daily Tracking Poll

Poll shows the general election shaping up to be an extremely close race.

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Mitt Romney is leading Barack Obama in Gallup's first head-to head general election poll of registered voters.

[See pictures of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail.]

Forty-nine percent of registered voters said that they would vote for Mitt Romney if the general election were held today, while 47 percent said they would vote for the president. Nine percent of those surveyed would vote for neither Obama nor Romney.

The results are the first of the campaign to show general election preferences, surveying voters starting the day after Rick Santorum—Mitt Romney's last serious challenger—decided to suspend his presidential campaign.

[Read Mitt Romney Begins VP Search.]

These polls tend to go up and down from week-to-week, but this poll, the first since Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee, points to November's election being extremely close. The poll breaks down in an predictable pattern by party, showing 90 percent of Republicans picking Romney and a similar percentage of Democrats picking Obama.

Romney is winning the crucial independent voter block 45 percent to 39 percent.

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