A new national poll from CNN shows two conflicting points of data. First, President Barack Obama remains vulnerable in a match-up with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by the numbers, as Romney bests the President by one point in the survey 48 - 47. But Romney's presence at the top of the ticket, which is becoming more and more likely as he continues to win primary states, raise millions, and pick up endorsements, seems to be having another effect on the party -- the CNN poll shows that GOP enthusiasm is going down just as 2012 is starting.
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The CNN numbers were not the first to show this confluence of events -- Pew released numbers in the second week of January comparing the level of Republican enthusiasm for their candidates at levels that closely resembled Democrats in 2004, both of which are well below the fire that both parties had for their candidates in 2008. "In the current survey, conservative Republicans and GOP-leaning independents express more positive opinions of the presidential field than do moderates or liberals (56% excellent or good vs. 43%)," Pew wrote. "In January 2008, 70% of conservatives and 64% of moderates and liberals said the GOP candidates as a group were excellent or good."