Washington:  US President Barack Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are in a neck to neck battle for the November presidential elections, an opinion poll suggested on Wednesday.

Obama, who is seeking his re-election and Romney each received support from 46 per cent of registered voters when asked who they would vote for if the election were held on Wednesday, said the poll released by The New York Times and CBS News.

In March, a similar survey found Obama holding a slight advantage over Romney of 47 per cent to 44 per cent.

The poll was conducted between last Friday and on Tuesday, days after former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suspended his campaign, effectively making Romney the presumptive nominee to take on Obama in the fall.

The CBS News / The New York Times poll said Romney has closed the gap with Obama among registered voters putting the former Massachusetts governor in a dead heat with the president for the White House.
A majority of Republican primary voters – 54 per cent – including a plurality of evangelical Christians, a group that had formed Santorum's base of support, now say they would like to see Romney nominated.

Newt Gingrich is backed by 20 per cent of Republican voters, while Ron Paul draws 12 per cent support, The New York Times said. "But the poll continues to show a lack of strong enthusiasm among many Republican voters for Mr. Romney's candidacy," it said.