Now that the 2012 Republican Party nomination process is effectively over, Mitt Romney jumps into the general election in a dead heat with U.S. President Barack Obama.

A CBS/New York Times poll said Romney and Obama each take 46 percent of registered voters when asked who they would support if the election were today. CBS noted Romney closed a small polling gap with the president, who led the former Massachusetts governor 47 - 44 percent in its March poll, which also has a 3-percentage-point margin of error.

The slight bump for Romney may stem from a consolidation of Republican support since his chief roadblock to the GOP presidential nomination, Rick Santorum, dropped out April 10.

The poll, conducted from April 13 to 17, said 54 percent of Republican primary voters wanted Romney to be the party's standard bearer, but 40 percent of these voters said they had reservations about Romney. More than a third said they were enthusiastically supporting the former governor, according to the poll.

Republican Party is slowly gathering behind Mitt Romney. Still some reserve out there from some people, and that's to be expected after a bruising primary, said John Dickerson, CBS News' political director or CBS.  He's basically reminding [the Republican Party], we're all in this against President Obama.

Jamie Chandler, a Hunter College political science professor, said the end of the Republican primary and recent stumbles from the Obama administration are helping Romney's standing in national polls, but the race still remains a tossup.

When you factor in the margin of error, Romney and Obama have been in a tie for the last few months, Chandler said in a statement.