Gallup released its first general election tracking poll for this year, and with it, dusted off some data from the vault. The poll found President Obama and Mitt Romney in a statistical tie, with Romney at 47% and Obama at 45%. If you look back at where prior incumbents stood at the kick-off of the general, you'll see an interesting trend: Presidents Carter, Clinton and Bush 41 and 43 all led their opponents in April of their fourth year in office.
Only two of these four ended up winning reelection, so it's not an indicator of success. But it appears President Obama is starting off this campaign in a dead heat. Time will tell whether that will help or hurt him.