PPP's newest national poll finds Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 49-46. A similar poll in February found Obama leading 49-42. Obama's not losing support but Romney is consolidating it as it becomes more and more clear that he will be the Republican nominee for President.
Romney's seen a massive improvement in his personal favorability numbers over the last 2 months as GOP voters have unified around him. He's gone from a -28 spread (29/57) up to a -12 one (39/51). Most of the improvement has come with Republicans, going from 43/41 to 67/22. His numbers with Democrats are steady and he's seen a little bit of improvement with independents from 32/55 to 36/50, although he remains unpopular.
In addition to looking at the head to head between Obama and Romney we also tested to see how some different potential GOP running mates might affect the ticket. Four of the people we tested-Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum- slightly improve Romney's numbers against Obama. And four of the people we tested- Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan- slightly hurt Romney's numbers against Obama. In only one case- Palin's- does the introduction of a running mate make more than a 3 point difference in how Obama and Romney match up.
Jeb Bush gets Romney to within a point of Obama at 48-47 and Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum both pull him to within two at 48-46. The main positive effect any of those folks has for Romney is helping to shore up the GOP vote. Bush gets him up to 85%, Huckabee to 84%, and Santorum to 83%.
Then there are the potential VP's who hurt Romney- if only slightly. Ron Paul as running mate expands Obama's lead to 4 points at 48-44, Paul Ryan ups it to 5 at 48-43, Rubio to 6 at 49-43, and Palin to 7 at 50-43.
Some other notes on the poll:
-Rubio's favorability with Hispanics nationally is 35/42. Without Rubio on the ticket Obama leads Romney 68-30 with them, with Rubio on the ticket it's cut only to 67-32.
-Michelle Obama (55/33 favorability) and Ann Romney (44/27) favorability are both a lot more popular than their husbands. Voters think Mrs. Obama would be a better President than Mrs. Romney by a 47/36 margin.
-Joe Biden's numbers are a little bit weaker than Obama's with 42% of voters seeing him favorably to 48% with a negative opinion.
-Ron Paul actually does just as well in a head to head with Obama was Romney, trailing by 3 points at 47-44. Newt Gingrich would be down by 9 at 51-42.
Full results here