While President Obama is leading five of the six declared Republican candidates for president, one of them is right by his side.

By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.

New Post-ABC numbers show Obama leading five of six potential Republican presidential rivals tested in the poll. But he is in a dead heat with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who formally announced his 2012 candidacy last week, making jobs and the economy the central issues in his campaign.

Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are knotted at 47 percent each, and among registered voters, the former governor is numerically ahead, 49 percent to 46 percent.

According to data from the poll, and other sources, Obama has lost the temporary positive "bounce" he received from the pursuit and death of Osama bin Laden.  Potential voters, according to the Post, believe the long-term issues of high gas prices, economic downturns, and inability of Obama's policies to improve the job rate as far outreaching any positive boost from bin Laden's death.

One of the keys for the 2012 election will be the votes of independent voters, who leaned towards Obama in 2008.  They have shown over the last year, a growing dissastisfaction with the Administration's inability to turn around the economy as well as improve the morale and direction of the country.

Leading election watchers believe Obama leads most of the other GOP candidates because voters view most of them as either not conservative or strong enough, or some, like Rand Paul, are viewed as too far leaning; others, such as Tom Pawlenty, suffer from lack of national exposure and voters just don't know enough about them.