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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- 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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After Mittens advised Iran how to attack the United States, his popularity in Iran is sky rocketing.

    September 18, 2012 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. mb

    And I wonder how fast that clown Romney's numbers are going to drop now? I hope really low.

    September 18, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. Bootstomper

    Romney is unfit to lead this great nation.

    September 18, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. trytry

    lol foolish liberal spin, it's so over for you creeps.

    September 18, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. 2008-2016

    Question: Am I the only one who sees that these polls are crap and the media just wants to portray this race as close
    and report on this drama for the sake of high ratings? Real journalism is dead. Long live Edward R. Murrow.

    September 18, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. Andrew

    I still think Romney is going to win. Two more bad jobs reports are due before the election, Romney just started spending money in a big way and there will be 3 presidential debates and 1 vp debate. Romney and Ryan will both do well in their debates and get to introduce themselves to millions of Americans.

    September 18, 2012 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. 2008-2016

    Or I should say "Good night and good luck."

    September 18, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    Let's hope this gap continues to grow in Obama's favor as RMoney manages to hack off most everyone in the whole country. the nerve of that clown to call half the country deadbeats! i'm an Obama supporter, i have a full-time job, a drapery business, and in my spare time i flip houses! i pay taxes! i support the Democratic philosophy because i believe in fairness and equality, intelligence, science, reality, and the vision of the founding fathers for a secular country where all are free to worship as they choose. i hope this slap in the face of most good decent working people by this arrogant snob lights a fire under the electorate and he loses by a landslide. he deserves to be shamed out of politics for good!

    September 18, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. 2020

    Polls like the weather report, it swings back and forth, not much to wow about.

    but, the trends tell you which season you are in. It looks like Romney is sliding from Fall to Winter while the President blossm from Spring to Summer.

    May be Romney ocean liner hit the Alaskan iceberg, who knows?

    September 18, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  10. No Likey Romney

    Considering the unheard of amount of money for Romney from just a few billionaires, you wouldn't expect the race to be this close. But just like Meg Whitman with all her billions, voters don't like having their elected officials bought to represent the wealthiest few and corporations only. No Mitt, corporations are not people and you can wax about how you don't care about 47% of the country who don't pay income taxes like you. That includes seniors who did pay but now are on social security and vets and working poor. You called them victims. Go hang with the 4,000 millionaires who, like you, also didn't pay income taxes due to loopholes that the majority of us will never enjoy. Mitt is unfit.

    September 18, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  11. SamIam

    This is incredibly depressing but it won't discourage me from voting against Obama. I just find it hard to believe that the nation has fallen so far as to reelect him.

    September 18, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  12. db

    Romney is toast.

    September 18, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  13. Solitaire

    As more people hear the Republican nominee disparage seniors who are on Social Security and Medicare, his numbers will continue to fall. He doesn't want to lead this country. I think he wants to do with us what he does with companies; split us up and sell us off. He does not respect the people of the United States, so why should we vote for him?

    September 18, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. gkingii

    If Obama wins again, we'll be very much a 3rd world country in about 4 years, Think, people. Look at the economic record. Romney succeeds. Obama blathers.

    September 18, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  15. billman1

    Yes and the polling only over-sampled dems by 8 points...now isn't that special;)

    September 18, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. righty tighty

    "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." Doesn't this make your headline a distortion (aka lie)? Dripping with bias as usual

    September 18, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  17. butch

    The same poll conducted September 18th, 2000 Showed Al Gore leading George Bush 49% – 41%.

    Florida is the only thing that matters. This poll is useless.

    September 18, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  18. Edgar Allen Poe

    Where's the Tax returns, Mitt?

    September 18, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. lilgtogirl

    How can he be a president for only 50% of the country. If he doesn't get he has a responsibility to all of us, then he should lead none of us.

    September 18, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Iamnotfooled

    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. Expect these poll numbers to improve for Obama.

    September 18, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. LOTDN

    At least they shop at the same clothing stores...

    September 18, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  22. Harry From Pa

    Don't worry the gap will get even bigger, Mitt is doing this to himself. Time to abandon ship.

    September 18, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. MS

    Inb4 conservatives claim poll bias

    September 18, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. Tell It Like It Is

    Be careful not to overstate what the numbers really are. Anything with NBC attached to it is suspect to me. Because when you do so, you may give people the false feeling of not having to get off their butts to go vote, because they believe their guy has won. On the other hand, some people will go vote for the one perceived as a clear winner.

    September 18, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. marctheduck

    Doing the same things and expecting different results is the definition of Democrat...

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 18, 2012 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
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