Fifty-six percent of of Americans say President Barack Obama will win re-election, the Gallup polling organization said Tuesday, drily calling that prediction "perhaps a slightly more optimistic assessment than is currently warranted."
Thirty-six percent say presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will be the one taking the oath of office in January.
Party affiliation shapes whether Americans are bullish or bearish on the odds of another term for Obama: 81 percent of Democrats but just 24 percent of Republicans predict he'll pull it off. But 58 percent of Independents agreed, compared to just 31 percent who said Romney would get the keys to the White House.
Gallup's latest daily tracking poll found the incumbent and the challenger in a dead heat, with Obama up a statistically meaningless 46 percent to 45 percent over Romney.
"It may be that Americans recognize the advantages Obama has as the incumbent and that historically, presidents seeking re-election usually win," according to Gallup's analysis.
"Americans currently see Obama as a solid favorite to win re-election. This is perhaps a slightly more optimistic assessment than is currently warranted, given that registered voters' candidate preferences are evenly split between Obama and Romney," Gallup said.
Obama's job approval ratings have hovered below 50 percent in various surveys, a dangerously low level for an incumbent seeking re-election.
"However, Americans have typically given an edge to the incumbent in years in which a president was seeking re-election," the organization said.
The survey had an error margin of plus or minus two percentage points.
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