Obama 50%-Romney 45% in new poll
September 18th, 2012
10:21 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama 50%-Romney 45% in new poll

(CNN) - A new national poll released Tuesday indicates President Barack Obama with a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney, with the candidates' numbers virtually unchanged compared to their positions before the two parties' conventions.

The NBC News/ Wall Street Journal survey found Obama at 50% and Romney at 45% among likely voters. The president's five point edge is up slightly from a four point 48%-44% margin over Romney in an NBC/WSJ survey conducted in mid August, just before the Republican and Democratic conventions. Obama's five point advantage in the new poll is within the survey's sampling error, meaning the race can be seen as a tie.

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The new poll was conducted entirely before Monday afternoon's release of secret recordings of remarks that Romney made at a private fund-raiser in May, where he described supporters of President Barack Obama as dependent on government. Fallout from the controversial clips has dominated coverage of the race for the White House for the past 24 hours.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is the eighth national non-partisan live operator survey to be conducted entirely after the end of both political conventions earlier this month. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages all eight surveys indicates the president at 49% and Romney at 46% among likely voters. The CNN Poll of Polls was compiled Tuesday evening, after the release of the NBC/WSJ survey. Obama's three-point advantage over Romney in the CNN Poll of Polls is approximately where the two candidates stood a month ago, before the party conventions.

Among a wider sample of registered voters, the NBC/WSJ poll indicates the president holding a 50%-44% advantage. This stands in contrast to Gallup's latest daily tracking poll of registered voters, which was also released Tuesday. According to the Gallup numbers, the president is at 47% and Romney at 46%, basically all knotted up. Obama held a seven point lead over Romney one week ago in Gallup's daily tracking poll.

According to the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama saw his high foreign policy approval ratings drop dramatically in the month since the survey was last taken. In mid-August, 54% of registered voters surveyed approved of his handling of foreign policy, while 40% disapproved. But the Tuesday ratings indicated an approval rating only 3% higher than his disapproval rating on the matter, 49% to 46%. Since the August survey was conducted, three Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, were killed in an attack on the consulate in that country, while elsewhere in the Middle East protesters have clashed with police around U.S. diplomatic posts. Romney was quick to criticize the president's handling of the situation in the Middle East.

Overall, however, Obama saw his approval rating reach 50% among registered voters for the first time since March of this year.

And registered voters also rate Obama's handling of the economy slightly better than they did last month. It now stands at 47%, up three percentage points since the August survey. .

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey included 900 interviews, 736 of whom were considered to be likely voters. The overall sampling error was 3.27%, and the poll was conducted by telephone between September 12 and 16.

Also see:

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- In new tape, Romney casts doubt on peace in Israel

- Obama camp wastes no time highlighting Romney tapes

- Hatch might 'die before his term' ends, opponent charges

- Biden on Romney tape: 'words speak for themselves'


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Were did you guys take this poll? USA Today basically has it a dead heat; Rasmussen has Romney? Where are you polling, democrat states only?

    September 19, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  2. Seattle11

    Romney supporters: Tell me how all these polls are in the tank for President Obama.

    September 19, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. vethusbandfather

    The breakdown of their poll. 32% Democrat, 38% Independent, 25% Republican. With that breakdown, I wonder why the president only leads by 5%? Then again should we have expected anything else from an NBC poll? Then again, I'd say the biases of your 'political unit' are pretty clear just by looking at the image attached to this article.

    September 19, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  4. Chris

    NBC/WSJ polls have horrible sampling issues. Post the makeup of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

    September 19, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. k

    Another D+10 poll?

    September 19, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Hey you republicans with the loopholes on your millions -- who pay no taxes --- Ryan/Robme are talking about YOU.

    Ryan/Romney - Lying for votes.

    September 19, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. where is even ONE article about obama on tape on redistribution of YOUR money

    so? where is your coverage of the obama tape from loyola college talking how he favours socialist redistribution????

    this anti american president REALLY does want to CHANGE america....

    September 19, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  8. Keep us all on our heels...

    As we all know, the race is probably not even as close as the news media wants us to believe. Close polls mean more viewers, and that is all they want right now. My guess is that Obama is ahead by at least 8% over Mitt Witt.

    September 19, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. Mitt is done

    The Romney campaign is so dead, the Mormon church baptized it.

    September 19, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Dave

    Please stop saying that because it is in the margin of error that the race 'can be seen as a tie'. It could also be seen as a 10 point Obama lead. I know you want it to be a horse race, but if you are going to give one side of the margin, give the other side. If you aren't going to, then just post the margin and get on with the article.

    September 19, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. poopyonastickmakesmesick

    And why is my comment from 9AM still awaiting moderation. Are you waiting for the story to become old news?

    September 19, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. z2cents

    And the debates have not yet begun...It surely will be entertaining with Mitt the Twit.

    September 19, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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