WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a statistical dead heat in Ohio, Virginia and 10 other states up for grabs in the 2012 election, according to a poll released on Monday.

The poll by Gallup Inc. and USA Today showed Obama with 47 percent support in the 12 states and Romney with 45%, well within the survey's margin of error of 4%. That is a tighter race than in March, when it found the Democratic president with 51% and Romney with 42%.

Behind the numbers, however, Obama supporters appear to show stronger support and more enthusiasm for their candidate than backers of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and business executive who had to fend off a handful of more conservative challengers during his party's nominating process.

Fewer Romney supporters in the 12 "swing states" polled - which also include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - said they were certain they would vote for the presumptive Republican nominee. They were also less enthusiastic.

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