(Newsroom America) -- A poll released Friday shows President Obama's overall job approval rating slipping to 44 percent, which matches the president's lowest level of approval in 2012.
The Rasmussen Reports survey also found that 47 percent of respondents preferred presumptive GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney over Obama, who garnered 43 percent.
In the week following Romney's trip overseas, 44 percent of respondents said the president is better able to deal with America's allies, but 44 percent also believe Romney is.
In what the survey said was a key indicator of eventual voter turnout, more Republicans are continuing to monitor election coverage than Democrats or unaffiliated voters.
The poll also shows Romney leading Obama in the crucial state of North Carolina by 5 points.
"Americans have come to view the government as a burden that is weighing down the economy and the nation... Too many politicians, from both political parties, believe the government’s job is to run the country. A healthier view is to recognize that our government was designed to play a support role rather than take the lead," Rasmussen wrote in his weekly newspaper column this week.
Other findings in the survey include:
-- Thirty-three percent of respondents gave the president good or excellent marks on his handling of the economy;
-- On national security matters, 45 percent gave positive reviews while 35 percent were negative;
-- In her reelection bid, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill continues to trail her presumptive Republican challengers;
-- The number of people who identify themselves as "Republican" dropped in July. "The GOP partisan identification advantage is now the smallest it’s been in 2012," the survey said.
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