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. Anonymous

    All these polls are skewd toward the democrats. Don't believe them, they are trying to discourage your support. If there is any voter suppression going on it is with these liberal polls.

    September 19, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President.

    September 19, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. HEHE

    LOL @ people still supporting Romney. Humans are hilarious.

    September 19, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Todd

    Why the big Obama favoring headline if you are going to say that the polling basically means they are in a tie. Also, how about reporting how heavy your polls are weighted with Democrats vs. Republicans? It seems to me that CNN is a really big Obama supporter. How about some objective reporting?

    September 19, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  5. anon

    History repeats itself. The same thing was said during the Carter/Reagan election. Actually, right before the election, the "nonbiased" news media said that Carter had an overwhelming percentage of support. Yet Reagan won in a landslide. Like him or not, the same thing will happen here. History repeats itself.

    September 19, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. GI Joe

    We also saw Romney say he doesn't care about 47% of the people that "are lazy" (hey red states, that includes YOU).

    ha ha ha ha ha

    He's never put in a hard day in his life. Selling some of his precious stock to get thru college is not "hard times".

    September 19, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Jaun in El Paso

    Why is every poll different?

    September 19, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. Ron McCain

    The 5 point difference is just clear evidence that more and more people are looking into their mirrors and realizing that they cannot in good faith or conscience, vote for Romney...this plastic, arrogant, clueless hack.

    September 19, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Kate

    The more Mitt Romney's comments come out, the worse he looks. I'm looking forward to the debates....though I'm an Independent who will definitely vote for Mr. Obama. If Mitt Romney is the best the Republicans have to offer, they are no longer the 'Grand Old Party'. That's for sure.

    September 19, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. Otto Speilbach

    This poll is bought and paid for by Democrats. What else do you expect it to show!
    If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you are not a racist, vote for Romney in November to prove you aren’t stupid.

    September 19, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  11. Keeping it Real

    And a Gallup poll yesterday shows Obama 47% to Romney 46%. Always interesting to see which CNN highlights. Their coverage is very telling.

    September 19, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  12. Core republican Values

    Its shocking, really, that even 45% think Mitt Romney will do anything more than pump money into foreign wars, the defense budget, and millionaires.

    He is worthless.

    September 19, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Andrew

    Misleading poll. How many more democrats were polled than repub. Rasmussen has this a lot closer.

    September 19, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Game Over

    Willard lost. He might have won but he keeps.......talking.

    September 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. Bill

    Yep, the press has made sure this controversey has dominated the news. Now on the otherhand, Obamas insults toward medwesterners guns and religion was dismissed for the most part by the liberal press.

    September 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. Rex

    Ramussen is the only poll that has been dead-on accurate on election day. Using MSNBC or NBC, or even CNN poll numbers simply skews reality. Most people know to subtract 7 to 10 points from any poll done by these three news sources.

    September 19, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. GBfromOhio

    Will be interesting to see the poll numbers after the Romney "contempt for 47% of America" video went viral.

    September 19, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. john2655

    Romney can put a fork in it. he is done.

    September 19, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  19. dpcfoh

    It looks like they shop at the same store...

    September 19, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  20. Texas Tom

    All lies, All lies.

    I just checked Rasmusens poll.
    Romney 65%
    Obama 22%.

    You libs going down.

    September 19, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  21. rich

    Obama just don't have a clue..
    But the republicans have done a lot of damage, people just don't trust them anymore..
    But why do people trust a do nothing Obama ? Tell me what Obama's plan is for getting this country working again..
    He doesn't have one. Wall street is still running around the white house as if they are running this country, and they are and always have.
    And with most Americans unwilling to even vote, this country in finished !

    September 19, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  22. Terry

    So what is the breakdown? How many Den/ Rep/ Ind surveyed. The fact they don't show it I would bet the Dem's margin is high and Ind low.

    September 19, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. bugmetoo

    Democrat only poll.

    September 19, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. Davyboy

    If the poll was run by NBC then it will always favor Obama

    September 19, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  25. David

    Poor Mittens. Flail baby flail

    September 19, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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