Poll: Race for White House all tied up
October 21st, 2012
02:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Race for White House all tied up

(CNN) - With just over two weeks to go until Election Day, and Monday's presidential debate fast approaching, a new national poll taken after the second debate shows the race for the White House in a dead heat.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday shows both President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney with 47% support among likely voters. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.43 percentage points for that group.

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Among the larger pool of registered voters surveyed in the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama holds a five-point advantage, 49% to Romney's 44%. The margin of error for that larger group is 3.1 percentage points.

The last NBC/WSJ survey - taken before any of October's presidential debates - showed the president with a slight advantage over his Republican challenger by three points, 49% to Romney's 46%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The difference in the surveys suggests Obama's advantage is slipping and that Romney's debate performances may have had an effect.

Romney was overwhelmingly considered the winner of the first presidential showdown, while Obama appeared to narrowly best the GOP nominee in the second debate. The candidates will square off for the final time Monday night at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.

And with the debate to be squarely focused on foreign policy, the new survey shows Obama ahead of Romney by three points on the question of which candidate would be better as commander in chief. In last month's poll, Obama had an eight point margin over Romney for the same question.

The GOP nominee also fares better, 46% to 40%, in the poll when voters are asked which candidate would best handle the economy. Romney further polls ahead of Obama on jobs and unemployment, as well as the federal budget deficit.

Obama, however, has more support on likability and appeal to women and middle class voters. Sunday's survey found Obama leading among likely women voters by eight points, 51% to Romney's 43%, while Romney leads among likely male voters by ten points, 53% to Obama's 43%.

Asked which candidate would be better at dealing with issues of concern to women, 53% chose Obama, while 25% chose Romney. Asked a similar question about the middle class, Obama again falls ahead, 52% to 35%.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted from October 17-20 among 1,000 registered voters and 816 likely voters.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Facts don't Lie

    anyone noticed that after the polls switched or became tied the right wing stopped whining about them? In fact I will go as far to say when they did start claiming the polls were fixed is when they started going Romney's way. Democrats perhaps need to take note that the noisy wheels get the most grease. But no matter because the only real poll that counts is the lever you pull in this election.

    October 21, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Dan

    I am sick and tired of the mass shootings in this country. It is time we did something to protect American lives!!!

    October 21, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Debby

    Well gallup has about the best poll out there they have call a huge margin of voters over 3000 at a time.

    October 21, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    It would be a real shame to put this man Romney in the Oval Office. I still can't believe based on these things, America would elect this man.

    1) wrote love letters to his wife while he actively supported others go off to war;
    2) has five grown "boys" who during time of war(s) NEVER served this country;
    3) won't produce at least 10 years of tax returns;
    4) profitted off sending jobs to OUT of he U.S. and into China;
    5) has called 47% of American people "useless", lazy freeloaders not worthy of his attention.

    If this happens, good luck with Romney's America which I want no part of.

    October 21, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Brian

    Sooooo, in spite of CNN's best efforts (and those of their fellow Leftist lapdogs in the media), Romney has not yet been destroyed by your collective lies and distortions? It's a miracle; one that this country BADLY NEEDS. I understand from another news source that the candidates' campaigns are attacking each other's leadership. This means that Romney's people are attacking an invisible target. I guess that's the WHOLE POINT...

    October 21, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. David S.

    My son was born appears to have cystic fibrosis so with that in mind does Romney's plans cover prexisting conditions? I would appreciate any input on the matter.

    October 21, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. danny k

    "He warned that Obama will "keep his war on coal going. Over a hundred coal plants are scheduled to close costing us thousands of jobs. Just a month ago we lost "1200 coal jobs" in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.""

    This is a political talking point used by Romney campaign... in reality.. COAL MINING jobs were added in VA, PA, a few were lost in WV.. most were lost in Kentucky.. but they clump all of them together so they can include pennsylvania in their talking points.

    October 21, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. danny k

    but coal miners need to face reality....

    your industry has been dying for 50 years.. you've been laying off workers for 50 years... people aren't using coal anymore... grow out of the 1950s. get back to school, which you never attended because you didn't have good plans for life and dropped out at 17.

    October 21, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. donna

    Obama, please, remember that place called hope. In your debate, tell us about your vision for the next four years.

    October 21, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Meka

    ALL TIED UP? Romney committed himself to "Allow Home Mortgages to Foreclose-let the Investors buy up the properties, then RENT THEM OUT!!
    Where is the support for the Middle Class???

    October 21, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Rocky252

    Obama wants to be our President. Romney wants to be our King.

    October 21, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. jinxing yu

    We should not vote for a person who lies all the time!

    October 21, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. JohnnyP

    I love how this article leaves out the Gallup Poll that shows Romney up by 7 among likely voters!

    October 21, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. Dan B

    Is this a news story? Plus I don't trust NBC polls anyway.

    October 21, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Aaron

    This is one close race...GO R^2!

    October 21, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. don in albuquerque

    Since nobody really knows where MittWitt stands on anything because it changes from minute to minute. I think it would be just deserts if he were elected and the following happened.
    1. Medicare and Social Security checks just stopped. No notice no warning. Just stopped.
    2. The draft reinstituted because I doubt that many will willingly enlist in another soon to be failed war effort. Not fun to watch little Johnnie or Susie get marched off to war and return in a box. But I voted for Mitt anyway.
    3. Living in tent cities really ain't so bad. You get to be really close to your neighbors.
    4.Dying in the gutter outside an emergency room is patrliotic, since you could not afford to get in the door.
    5. Sunday School is the only education my kids need. Jebus will take care of rest.
    6. What do you mean if I do not belong to such and such church I cannot own property or vote.

    In the words of Herman Cain....Blame Yourself. Pathetic.

    October 21, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Malcom

    CNN your narrative doesn't seem to add up: Among the larger pool of registered voters surveyed in the NBC/WSJ poll, Obama holds a five-point advantage, 49% to Romney's 44%. The margin of error for that larger group is 3.1 percentage points.

    "The last NBC/WSJ survey – taken before any of October's presidential debates – showed the president with a slight advantage over his Republican challenger by three points, 49% to Romney's 46%, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. The difference in the surveys suggests Obama's advantage is slipping and that Romney's debate performances may have had an effect."

    How does this show Prez Obama is losing his gain?

    October 21, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Hello

    Romney does not care about polls. His son just purchased a VOTING MACHINE COMPANY. he is being pretty bold about rigging the election.

    October 21, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. ememen

    Willard has been running for president for 6 years yes 6 years in persuit of something he believes he's entitled to. Please see it for what it is.

    October 21, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Jen

    please don't Romney in the white house, it scares me to death. there are people who are losing their jobs as we speak from a company that Bain owns. You know what the best part, Romney is getting millions for people (middle class) who are losing their jobs. Wake up American People, Romney doesn't have it, it takes more than four years to fix what the last Republican president did to our country. I sure as hell do not want to go back to those days. your blaming obama for not creating jobs, but who veto the jobs bill, THE REPUBLICANS. I'm sure there would be jobs out there if that bill was passed. The republicans since day one Obama took office wanted him to fail. i'm voting Obama/Biden because i believe the President given more time can help the middle class. Please think about it before you make a bad mistake in voting for Republican!!!

    October 21, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. kim

    Why hasn't the connection between the Romneys, Paul Singer and Paul Ryan been exposed by the media? Ann Romney's so-called "blind trust" is a scam that is hiding the financial machinations of Singer, and also hiding the fact that the Romneys have made million upon millions off of the auto bai out. These people make Bernie Madoff look like an amatuer con artist. Any idiot that votes for Romney is voting against America and everyone in it.

    October 21, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. ememen

    Romney has nothing better to do with his life, he's been running for president for 6 years. Think about that for a moment.

    October 21, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. New Yorkers against Trump

    GO OBAMA!!! Romney is a tax cheating elitist

    October 21, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. TonyK

    Romney doesn't create jobs, hasn't created jobs, and won't create jobs–he will create wealth and it will go to the wealthy. This is the story of his life.

    October 21, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Mark

    Foreign policy, shmoreign policy. Ask these two men what they would do to stop mass killings in America. Then ask them again.

    October 21, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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