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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- 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. The Elephant in the Room

    Just wait until some of the "47%" that is part of his "45%" in this poll leaves him and moves over to the President.

    September 19, 2012 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  2. James Hart

    Power to the hard working people that work and not on welfare.Power to working class and down with socialist.Obama can kiss my butt!!!

    September 19, 2012 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  3. randy

    Why in the world would 45% of Americans still support Mitt Romney? It's a national tragedy that we've gotten this weird. Republicans can now just come out and say they don't give a hoot for working people and it doesn't matter to the people who, for whatever reason, insist on calling themselves Republican. Here's a subtle hint; Mitt Romney? He aint that into you. He just loves you for your vote. Seriously.

    September 19, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  4. AmericanWaxwing

    Romney rocks - not afraid to say the hard things (however ineloquently). He's got a great talent for turnarounds and that's exactly what we need. He'll get more Americans WORKING so they don't have to be on welfare!

    September 19, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. Matt

    50% is not surprising at all. It appears the gap is getting wider and wider as Mr. Romney is getting exposed.

    September 19, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  6. Humanity4All

    I agree with Matt analysis. Romney is barely able to keep the head above the water.

    September 19, 2012 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  7. Matt

    These polls crack me up. 18.3% are not considered likely voters, yet they find there way into the "poll". Furthermore, what is the breakdown of Republicans vs. Democrats vs. Independents?

    September 19, 2012 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  8. ditatraders

    The lead is quite gud for Obama. It will grow further i beleive if obama handle the islamic world wid care.
    bloggingchunks.com

    September 19, 2012 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  9. Hillcrester

    When reported by RCP the margin if error is 3.6%, SMALLER than Obama's 5 point lead,

    September 19, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  10. cliff

    While I won't vote for either of these losers is anyone surprised something NBC had their hand in is showing Obama with a lead? CNN, like all liberal media outlets, continue to do their best to "dumb down" America!

    September 19, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  11. badasscat

    The race "can be seen as a tie", or it can also be seen as Obama being up by 13 points (54-41). That's the flipside of these margin of error qualifications that it would be responsible of you to mention, *if* you're going to mention the "can be seen as a tie" thing that's obviously designed to fit into the conventional wisdom narrative that this is a close race (it isn't).

    Obviously, the *most likely* statistical outcome is that the result is somewhere near the middle of the margin of error... or 50-45. So just say that's the result of the poll. Don't add this inaccurate qualification that the "race can be seen as a tie". It would be just as accurate to say the "race can be seen as a blowout".

    September 19, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  12. Hadenuffyet

    Is someone finally waking up to reality? I just hope they stay awake.

    September 19, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  13. southernwonder

    a large part of that 47pct has started to trickle down obama's way.

    September 19, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  14. SafeJourney

    Wait till Romneys 47% statement is known to all Americans. Especially republicans that are part of the 47% that receive government assistance.

    September 19, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  15. bspurloc

    mittens is done.... only extremists will vote for him

    September 19, 2012 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  16. John

    Don't believe the polls. They change multiple times during each day. Obama is going to lose. Wonder how CNN will spin that?

    September 19, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  17. maltesefalconx9

    Oh, boy, four more years of that stuff. Well, it's just on television; who cares.
    Most boring subject on Earth: US government.

    September 19, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  18. Okoronkwo c

    I need money and not all these too-much talk.

    September 19, 2012 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  19. Welcome to Reality

    Here is a better poll than those listed here: Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll (Quote from the website)

    "The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 47% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 45% of the vote. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.

    When “leaners” are included, the race is tied with both Obama and Romney at 48%. Leaners are those who are initially uncommitted to the two leading candidates but lean towards one of them when asked a follow-up question. "

    So while CNN and the MSM will want you to believe Obama is "pulling away", this is in fact not the case, and the MSM is not fooling anybody. The actual race is essentially tied at 48% for both Romney and Obama.

    September 19, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  20. maltesefalconx9

    Oh, boy, four more years of that stuff. Well, it's just on television; who cares.
    Most boring subject on Earth: US government. (sent earlier)

    September 19, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  21. maltesefalconx9

    The electoral vote total is what determines it. Is the electoral vote total forecast 51% / 49% ?

    September 19, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  22. Namejames Abe

    Everyone in the country should know were Mt Romney stand. He stand to divide the country by races and wealthiest. How you gonna be a president and you are already putting the people down and you already damography of people because of your wealth. I don't know what you thinking you think you are so rich you gonna feed the whole country or what you just boasting about your wealth. What difference have you made in the city you govern. If you so govern that city very well everyone should be run their for job and better life. What different have you made. Is everyone in your state got job and how many jobs you created . Enough of that Republican ran the country like their personal business. Making a war and gave their friend contract to rebuild is that how you create job no yah create mess and that mess is what Obama cleaning we don't need no more mess ok. Why you failed to work with Obama if you so care about this country for four years. This man still cleaning capitalist republican mess. We don't need you mess. Everyone should vote for Obama. He knows what is best for this country. He handles things the way things should be handle in the century we are in life is changing and he is driving us in the right direction

    September 19, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  23. maltesefalconx9

    Romney: Burn coal and p'lut.
    O'Bama: Black powah, black powah.

    Amerikan audience: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, wha, wha, what? I WANT SOME MAH MARSHMELLOWS. Zzzzzzzzzz.

    September 19, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  24. Anonymous

    So you have to wonder if there is any loyalty left in this world. Seems only idiots like Obozo can make comments 'off the record' with out some press reporting them.

    September 19, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  25. scamtannehill

    How does that add up when Mitt say's 47% of us are on welfare ?

    September 19, 2012 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
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