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Pew poll: Barack Obama's lead "has vanished." Romney in GOP front, Perry surging

From the Pew Research Center:

The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in polls conducted earlier this year has vanished as his support among independent voters has fallen off.Currently, 41% of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 40% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in 2012. In May, Obama held an 11-point lead.

This shift is driven by a steep drop-off in support for Obama among independents. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 20-24 among 1,501 adults and 1,205 registered voters finds that just 31% of independent voters want to see Obama reelected, down from 42% in May and 40% in March. Where Obama held a slim 7-point edge among independent registered voters two months ago, a generic Republican holds an 8-point edge today....

Meanwhile, there is no greater clarity to the GOP nomination race. Only about a quarter of voters (24%) have given a lot of thought to their 2012 options. That rises to just 30% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Overall, Romney continues to hold a significant lead among Republican voters: 21% say they would like to see him win the nomination. Rick Perry gets the support of 12%; 11% back Sarah Palin, 11% Michele Bachmann, 9% Ron Paul and 8% Herman Cain. No other candidate receives more than 3% of the support of Republican-oriented voters. Perry and Palin have not yet said whether they will run.