06/12/2012 02:54 pm ET Updated Jun 12, 2012

Iowa Poll Shows Barack Obama, Mitt Romney In Dead Heat

A new poll in Iowa finds President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney essentially tied in that battleground state.

The Rasmussen Reports poll shows Romney narrowly leading Obama, 47 to 46 percent, well within the margin of error. Four percent of likely voters are undecided, and 3 percent prefer a different candidate.

This is Rasmussen's first poll of the presidential race in Iowa, and it closely matches the results of an NBC/Marist survey taken from May 22 to 24, which found the two men tied at 44 percent.

However, the two polls' results conflict with the findings of a May 3-6 survey by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling, which showed Obama leading Romney by 10 points. Despite the fact that Rasmussen and PPP both conduct automated, recorded-voice surveys, which are barred from calling cellphones, they obtained very different results.

According to Rasmussen, Obama's approval rating in the Hawkeye State is slightly underwater, with 48 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving of his job performance. Romney is not popular in the state either, with a narrow majority of Iowa voters viewing him unfavorably.

Both campaigns, as well as their corresponding super PACs, have begun advertising in the state and expect it to be competitive in November. Romney will make a stop in Iowa on his six-state bus tour starting at the end of this week.

The Rasmussen Reports poll conducted automated telephone interviews with 500 likely voters on June 11, with a 4.5 percent margin of error. The PPP poll also used automated interviews, while the NBC News/Marist poll conducted live telephone interviews.

The HuffPost Pollster's chart shows Obama leading 46.2 to 44.6 percent overall.